State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007RI68B
Title: Enhancing Drinking Water Supply by Better Understanding Surface Water - Ground Water Interaction
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: 2
Focus Categories: Water Supply, Water Quality, Groundwater
Keywords: Drinking Water, GWUDI
Principal Investigators: Boving, Tom (University of Rhode Island); Veeger, Anne (University of Rhode Island)
Federal Funds: $ 21,604
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 62,746
Abstract: Rhode Island's ground water resources are among the state's most valuable natural resources supplying drinking water to as much as 100% of its population in large parts of the state. The University of Rhode Island is no exception where 100 % of its drinking water is pumped from a network of three wells. These high-production wells (up to 1000 gpm) are located about 100ft from a surface water body. The close proximity to surface water together with the geologic setting of the well field led us to hypothesize that the URI wellfield may be under the influence of surface-water and therefore at potential risk of contamination in the event of a contamination indident affecting the surface water. Our principal objective is to address this hypothesis from both the hydrologic and regulatory viewpoints. To achieve our objective we will use tools such as a stable isotope mass balance approach and microscopic particulate analysis (MPA). The ultimate goal is to collaborate with the Rhode Island Department of Health on reviewing the current approach to identifying surface/ground water interactions and, if needed, produce a risk-assessment guidance document that addresses the state's unique hydrogeologic conditions. This one-year water quality project builds on the expertise of its team members and will directly benefit the people of Rhode Island, e.g., by safely enhancing water supply from currently under-utilized ground water resources.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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