Scientists seek to update maps of deep groundwater

ken bradburyContact: Ken Bradbury, ken.bradbury@uwex.edu

For the first time in 30 years, scientists will be collecting information about water levels from deep wells in the sandstone aquifer spanning southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

The researchers’ goal is to analyze water data and develop an up-to-date map of water levels in the aquifer. The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) and the Illinois State Water Survey, which is funding the project, are working together on the study.

Ken Bradbury, Assistant Director for Science and leader of the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey’s Hydrogeology Group, will head up the Wisconsin portion of the survey that will take place in six counties: Racine, Walworth, Kenosha, Rock, Waukesha, and Milwaukee. The Illinois State Water Survey will collect similar information in northern Illinois.

“We intend to target as many deep wells as possible, including municipal, industrial, commercial and institutional wells,” says Bradbury.

Over the past several years, Bradbury’s work has focused on how to determine groundwater flow paths near water supplies developed in fractured aquifers. “This project is a good fit with current research interests while providing answers to practical questions for the management of Wisconsin’s groundwater resource,” says Bradbury.

The WGNHS will contact well owners or operators to obtain permission and details about each well prior to visiting and taking measurements. In many cases, for example at water utilities, water levels are already being recorded. Bradbury and his team will also collect GPS coordinates at each site.

People can assist researchers by contacting Peter Chase of the WGNHS (peter.chase@uwex.edu, 608-265-6003) with information about new wells, wells that are open for maintenance, or wells that researchers may not otherwise hear about.

Learn more about this project here.

 

Photo: Ken Bradbury of the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey’s Hydrogeology Group, will head up the Wisconsin portion of a survey designed to measure deep groundwater levels.

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