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AGU 2017 Poster Presentation by Sadia Afrin Jame: Quantifying the water storage volume of major aquifers in the US

Center for the Environment
December 15, 2017
8:00 AM - 12:20 PM
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Poster Hall D-F


Groundwater is one of our most valuable natural resources which affects not only the food and energy nexus, but ecosystem and human health, through the availability of drinking water. Quantification of current groundwater storage is not only required to better understand groundwater flow and its role in the hydrologic cycle, but also sustainable use. In this study, a new high resolution map (5’ minutes) of groundwater properties is created for US major aquifers to provide an estimate of total groundwater storage. The estimation was done using information on the spatial extent of the principal aquifers of the US from the USGS Groundwater Atlas, the average porosity of different hydrolithologic groups and the current saturated thickness of each aquifer. Saturated thickness varies within aquifers, and has been calculated by superimposing current water-table contour maps over the base aquifer altitude provided by USGS. The average saturated thickness has been computed by interpolating available data on saturated thickness for an aquifer using the kriging method. Total storage of aquifers in each cell was then calculated by multiplying the spatial extent, porosity, and thickness of the saturated layer. The resulting aquifer storage estimates was compared with current groundwater withdrawal rates to produce an estimate of how many years’ worth of water are stored in the aquifers. The resulting storage map will serve as a national dataset for stakeholders to make decisions for sustainable use of groundwater.

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