Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016GA365B

Geostatistical Models for Optimizing Groundwater Monitoring Network in the Lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin

Institute: Georgia
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-01-31
Total Federal Funds: $18,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $36,000

Principal Investigators: Jian Luo

Abstract: Groundwater is the vital water source in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin in southwestern Georgia. The management of the groundwater use, assessment of groundwater resource, and protection of groundwater head and quality in the area rely heavily on the long-term, systematic measurements provided by Georgia’s groundwater monitoring network. These timely and accurate measurements of the groundwater level and quality data are essential for evaluating the hydrologic stresses on aquifers, such as groundwater recharge, storage, and discharge, for developing groundwater models to forecast trends, for applying technologies to restore contaminated-groundwater quality, and for designing strategies for optimal management of groundwater resource. The present research aims to develop proactive and rational monitoring plans by optimizing the current monitoring network based on identified geostatistical correlations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resources in the ACF river basin. Specific objectives include: (1) Identification of the relative importance of current monitoring stations; (2) Minimization of monitoring stations required for accurately predicting groundwater levels and quality in the ACF river basin; and (3) Optimization of sampling frequency for data collection from the minimized monitoring network in different periods (e.g., flooding and drought seasons). These objectives will be met by (1) conducting real data analysis to refine the spatial and temporal correlations; (2) developing geostatistical models to optimize the location and frequency of monitoring; and (3) conducting model validation using historical data. Developed models, tools and improved understandings will provide essential information for developing new data monitoring, designing pumping well network, calibrating groundwater models, and assisting the decision-making for groundwater resources management in southwestern Georgia.