Ground Water Characterization


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Ground Water Characterization

  • Ground Water Characterization

  • Ground Water Withdrawal Permitting

  • Wellhead Protection

  • Ground Water Protection Steering Committee

  • Surface Water Withdrawal Permitting

  • State-wide Water Withdrawal Reporting

  • Local and Regional Water Supply Planning

  • Surface and Ground Water Monitoring

  • State Drought Monitoring and Response

  • Interstate Water Commissions







Monitor water resources with USGS: 189 surface water, 422 groundwater, and 62 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) data sites

  • Monitor water resources with USGS: 189 surface water, 422 groundwater, and 62 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) data sites

  • 50/50 surface water, 80/20 groundwater

  • Help fund USGS real-time database.

    • www.water.usgs.gov












Manage water withdrawals and use through regulatory programs:

  • Manage water withdrawals and use through regulatory programs:

    • Virginia Water Protection Program,
    • Ground Water Management Act of 1992,
    • Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Program
    • Water Use Reporting Program
  • Other tools like:

    • Potomac Low Flow Allocation Agreement






Only 10% of existing withdrawals are under permits.

  • Only 10% of existing withdrawals are under permits.

  • Most new or expanded water supply will require creation or expansion of storage.

  • Determining water availability is uncertain because the needs of recreation, navigation, and fish and wildlife habitat are not adequately defined

  • We are inefficient: 65% of public use is for outdoor watering and toilet flushing.

  • We forgot how to play nice in the sandbox…



Covers about 2/3 of the Coastal Plain

  • Covers about 2/3 of the Coastal Plain

  • Regulates an estimated 57% of withdrawals >300,000 gpm in CP

  • Does not include most single family wells (est. 40 mgd)





















Ground water has been drawn down significantly in parts of the Coastal Plain.

  • Ground water has been drawn down significantly in parts of the Coastal Plain.

  • Places along the fall line are declining more rapidly than other areas.

  • Field data is showing water levels are lower than model predictions in these areas.

  • Salt water intrusion and land subsidence is occurring.

  • Management tools haven’t changed in 20 years.





  • “Every one for themselves” planning

  • “Water has always been there” planning

  • “Won’t be a drought worse than the 1930s drought” planning

  • Started to plan when water use reached 80% of permitted capacity (VDH)

  • Extended drought from 1999-2002 exposed some inadequacies in planning





A description of existing water sources, water use, water resource conditions and water demand management actions

  • A description of existing water sources, water use, water resource conditions and water demand management actions

  • An assessment of projected water demand (30-50 yrs)

  • A statement of future need

  • An analysis that identifies potential alternatives to address projected deficits in supplies

  • A drought contingency and response plan



We’re probably going to need more water.

  • We’re probably going to need more water.

  • It’s likely that we’ll need more storage.

  • It’s also likely we will need to be more conjunctive.

  • And, more regional in meeting our needs.



State of Virginia is faced with challenges:

  • State of Virginia is faced with challenges:

    • State-wide water supply planning requirement
    • “Grand-fathered” withdrawals, un-permitted reported withdrawals, permitted withdrawals
    • Complex interaction of intakes, storage and demand
    • Some resources at or near full allocation
    • Managing for multiple beneficial uses
  • Making sense of the plans -> Cumulative Impact Analysis

    • Assist water supply planners in data collection/organization
    • Connect to real time/agency sources of data
    • Do modeling of long term basin wide water availability


Use locally derived data for demands, use and alternative sources of future supply

  • Use locally derived data for demands, use and alternative sources of future supply

  • Collaborative meta-modeling emphasizing “Systems Dynamics” approach to linking traditional gage models, empirical models, and watershed models

  • Evaluate existing and future basin-wide cumulative impacts to beneficial uses to identify opportunities for optimization and shared vision planning

  • Integrate planning and permitting through common modeling framework



DEQ is generating Storage to Yield ratios for all streams in the Commonwealth

  • DEQ is generating Storage to Yield ratios for all streams in the Commonwealth

  • Water supply plans will provide projections of need, and alternatives to fulfill those needs

  • Compare projected needs to current and projected storage, and SYR for basins

  • Encourage basin-wide collaboration between localities with excess SYR with localities with deficient SYR



Who will pay for water resource data needs.

  • Who will pay for water resource data needs.

  • Climate change is mostly about impacts to water.

  • Population growth continues in areas without sufficient water resources.

  • Current system promotes inequity.

  • Will we overcome our need to 1) rationalize the risk of being wrong, 2) deny the need for change in our behavior?






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