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0 James Kennedy, Ph.D., P.G. State Geologist Georgia Environmental Protection Division Georgia Comprehensive State-Wide Water Management Plan Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "0 James Kennedy, Ph.D., P.G. State Geologist Georgia Environmental Protection Division Georgia Comprehensive State-Wide Water Management Plan Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 0 James Kennedy, Ph.D., P.G. State Geologist Georgia Environmental Protection Division Georgia Comprehensive State-Wide Water Management Plan Assessment of Groundwater Availability

2 1 Surface Water Quantity: Assess the quantity of water that is naturally provided and the sustainable quantities of water that meet both off-stream and in-stream needs (Dr. Wei Zeng) Surface Water Quality: Determine assimilative capacities (the ability of a waterbody to naturally absorb a discharged substance without water quality becoming impaired or aquatic life being harmed) of streams and determine the amount of pollutants that can be discharged to a specific waterbody without exceeding water quality standards (Dr. Elizabeth Booth, P.E.) Groundwater Availibility: Determine sustainable yields of prioritized aquifers (Dr. Jim Kennedy, P.G.) State Water Plan Assessments

3 2 Georgia’s Aquifers USGS Fact Sheet

4 Groundwater Use by Aquifer Data from Fanning, J.L. and V.P Trent, USGS SIR % of groundwater was withdrawn from Coastal Plain aquifers in southern Georgia (Floridan, Cretaceous, Claiborne, Clayton) 13.5% of groundwater was withdrawn from crystalline rock and Paleozoic rock aquifers in northern Georgia

5 4 A comprehensive accounting of the sustainable yields of all aquifers in Georgia would be extraordinarily expensive and time consuming Aquifer assessments of sustainable yield are prioritized Bases for aquifer prioritization –Functional characteristics of the aquifer (extent and thickness, recharge to the aquifer, well yield) –Existing evidence of adverse effects due to withdrawals –Forecasts suggesting significant increases in demands –Aquifers where it will not be possible to determine sustainable yield within a reasonable time period Prioritization of Aquifers and Aquifer Units for Assessment of Sustainable Yield

6 5 Numerical (MODFLOW) computer models of Coastal Plain aquifers where most groundwater is withdrawn, groundwater withdrawals have caused some unacceptable impacts, and forecasts suggest increases in future withdrawals –Upper Floridan aquifer in the Dougherty Plain –Upper Floridan aquifer in Tift County area –Cretaceous aquifer between Macon and Augusta –Claiborne aquifer in southwestern Georgia –Upper Floridan aquifer in the eastern Coastal Plain Water balance models in the north Georgia crystalline and Paleozoic rock aquifers where less groundwater is withdrawn Prioritization of Aquifers for Determination of Sustainable Yield

7 6 Prioritized Aquifers in the Lower Flint – Ochlockonee Water Planning Region Upper Floridan Aquifer Claiborne Aquifer

8 7 Areas of the Upper Floridan Aquifer Monitored by the USGS USGS SIR

9 8 Dougherty Plain of Southwestern Georgia USGS SIR

10 9 Interaction of Groundwater and Surface Water in the Dougherty Plain USGS SIR

11 10 Highly productive aquifer Aquifer currently heavily used for public water supply and irrigation Aquifer interconnected with streams in Lower Flint River Basin Irrigation pumping affects flows in streams with listed species and streams tributary to the Apalachicola River Prioritization of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in the Dougherty Plain

12 11 Determine Sustainable Yield from the Existing USGS Model of the Dougherty Plain Upper Floridan Aquifer USGS SIR

13 Groundwater Levels in the Upper Floridan Aquifer of South-Central Georgia USGS SIR

14 13 Highly productive aquifer Aquifer currently heavily used for public water supply and irrigation Dropping water levels during the 2007 irrigation season caused domestic wells to go dry Increased groundwater use expected due to increasing population and changes in crops to those requiring more irrigation Prioritization of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in the Tift County area

15 14 Aquifers in Southwestern Georgia GGS Bulletin 118

16 15 Claiborne Aquifer GGS HA 21

17 Groundwater Levels in the Claiborne Aquifer USGS SIR

18 17 Highly productive aquifer Aquifer currently heavily used for public water supply and irrigation Groundwater levels are dropping at a majority of wells in the aquifer Aquifer is an alternate source of water to the Clayton aquifer, which currently has use restrictions, and the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Dougherty Plain Prioritization of the Claiborne Aquifer

19 18 Prioritized Coastal Plain Aquifers Are Within the Regional Aquifer Model in USGS Professional Paper 1410-F (1997)

20 19 Calibrate Regional Coastal Plain Model and Telescope to Prioritized Aquifers to Determine Sustainable Yield

21 20 The Model Incorporates Multiple Aquifer Layers USGS Circular 1139

22 21 Sustainable yields of the Upper Floridan and Claiborne aquifers will be quantified as million gallons per day for the extents of the modeled aquifers Sustainable yields will recognize the seasonal variability of groundwater use Management practices can be used to maximize groundwater withdrawals to the sustainable yield of the aquifer The Flint River Basin Regional Water Development and Conservation Plan provides information that could be used to identify and implement management practices Result of Sustainable Yield Determinations

23 22 The Plan was initiated in October 1999 in response to a prolonged drought and evaluated impacts of agricultural water use on the interconnected system of streams and the Upper Floridan aquifer in the lower Flint River Basin The State water plan assessment of groundwater availability will determine the sustainable yield of the aquifer for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses and will expand the range of questions answered by the Flint River Basin Plan The State water plan assessment of groundwater availability will use tools similar to those used to develop the Flint River Basin Plan and will be consistent with technical findings of the Flint River Basin Plan Flint River Basin Regional Water Development and Conservation Plan

24 23 Sustainable yield is the amount of groundwater that can be withdrawn from an aquifer without causing an unacceptable impact Unacceptable impacts (i.e., benchmarks) to determine sustainable yield of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Dougherty Plain: –Reduction of stream base flows using 25% of annual average discharge as an initial benchmark –Dropping water levels of more than 30 feet during drought that could impact nearby wells or create sinkholes Sustainable Yield Benchmarks

25 24 Benchmarks to determine sustainable yield of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Tift County area and in the Claiborne aquifer: –Dropping water levels of more than 30 feet during drought –Potentiometric surface drops so far that the aquifer becomes unconfined –Dropping water levels do not recover by 90% within 90 days of stopping groundwater withdrawals (i.e., recharge to aquifer has been exceeded) Viabilities of benchmarks will be tested during modeling and may be changed Sustainable Yield Benchmarks


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