Metro Area Groundwater Monitoring

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$1,000,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$4,000,000
Source: 
Clean Water Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2010
Activity Type: 
Monitoring, Research, Assessment/Evaluation
Counties Affected: 
Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, Wright
Project Details:
2014 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2010, Ch. 361, Art. 2, Sec. 4
Appropriation Language 
The $5,000,000 appropriated in Laws 2009, chapter 172, article 2, section 4, paragraph (m), for activities relating to groundwater protection or prevention of groundwater degradation is canceled and $4,000,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2011 to the commissioner of natural resources for the following purposes: (1) establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11-county metropolitan area that monitors non-stressed systems to provide information on aquifer characteristics and natural water level trends; and (2) develop an automated data system to capture groundwater level and water use data to enhance the evaluation of water resource changes in aquifer systems that are stressed by pumping of existing wells. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until spent. The base funding for this program in fiscal year 2012 is $1,000,000 and $0 in fiscal year 2013.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
3.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY14, DNR scientists will continue to grow the 11-county monitoring well network by installing 15 monitoring wells, 7 of which will be deep wells in bedrock. Additional data analysis will result in better information about aquifer characteristics and trends to be used in groundwater management decisions.

The DNR also proposes to further identify the flow patterns and aquifer characteristics within the 11 County Metro through water chemistry sampling and hydraulic testing a subset of the monitoring wells.
Project Details:
2013 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2010, Ch. 361, Art. 2, Sec. 4, M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(i)
Appropriation Language 
The $5,000,000 appropriated in Laws 2009, chapter 172, article 2, section 4, paragraph (m), for activities relating to groundwater protection or prevention of groundwater degradation is canceled and $4,000,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2011 to the commissioner of natural resources for the following purposes: (1) establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11-county metropolitan area that monitors non-stressed systems to provide information on aquifer characteristics and natural water level trends; and (2) develop an automated data system to capture groundwater level and water use data to enhance the evaluation of water resource changes in aquifer systems that are stressed by pumping of existing wells. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until spent. The base funding for this program in fiscal year 2012 is $1,000,000 and $0 in fiscal year 2013.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$0
Direct expenses: 
$36,366
Administration costs: 
$250,611
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
2.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY13, DNR scientists will continue to grow the 11-county monitoring well network by installing 20 monitoring wells, 10 of which will be deep wells in bedrock. Additional data analysis will result in better information about aquifer characteristics and trends to be used in groundwater management decisions.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY13, DNR scientists installed 15 aquifer monitoring wells including 4 in deep bedrock aquifers. A change in the field manager for this project resulted in a decrease in well installation from the FY13 target. Through the well installation process, scientists were able to gather valuable information about the bedrock geology and aquifers in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Staff also equipped 25 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data. These wells and data provide information about regionally important aquifers that will improve future management decisions.

In FY 13 work continued on the migration of groundwater data into a state cooperative water data system. The pilot project to test the collection of real-time, automated municipal groundwater data was completed with one municipality (water level and pumping data from 9 municipal wells) and initiated with a second municipality. The public display of these data is under development. When established, this public display of groundwater level information will help state scientists and communities better understand local and regional water use and manage future needs.
Project Details:
2012 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(i)
Appropriation Language 
$1,000,000 the first year is for implementation of the metropolitan groundwater monitoring and protection activities under Minnesota Laws 2010, chapter 361, article 2, section 4, subdivision 2.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,000,000
Direct expenses: 
$570,997
Administration costs: 
$142,026
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
2.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY12, DNR scientists will continue establishing a network of monitoring wells in the 11-county metropolitan area to provide information about aquifer characteristics and trends. Staff will install 20 new wells and equip 40 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

DNR will also grow our ability to evaluate changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells by installing deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer when opportunities arise. The goal for this work is one well per year.

Another goal for this program is to complete development of and implement a new automated data management system that will provide better data management and integrate groundwater and surface water data.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY12, DNR scientists installed 28 aquifer monitoring wells, including 14 in deep aquifers (installed in bedrock). Through the well installation, process, scientists were able to gather more and better valuable information about bedrock geology in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Staff equipped 146 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data. These wells and data loggers provide information about aquifers stressed from pumping, providing managers with better information for management decisions.

Work began on the migration of data from observations wells (groundwater data) into the surface water data system in order to integrate these two important data sets. A pilot project is underway to test real time automated data collection, storage and public display of groundwater data.
Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2010, Ch. 361, Art. 2, Sec. 4
Appropriation Language 
The $5,000,000 appropriated in Laws 2009, chapter 172, article 2, section 4, paragraph (m), for activities relating to groundwater protection or prevention of groundwater degradation is canceled and $4,000,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2011 to the commissioner of natural resources for the following purposes: (1) establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11-county metropolitan area that monitors non-stressed systems to provide information on aquifer characteristics and natural water level trends; and (2) develop an automated data system to capture groundwater level and water use data to enhance the evaluation of water resource changes in aquifer systems that are stressed by pumping of existing wells. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until spent. The base funding for this program in fiscal year 2012 is $1,000,000 and $0 in fiscal year 2013.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$4,000,000
Direct expenses: 
$488,836
Administration costs: 
$32,400
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY11, DNR scientists will establish a network of monitoring wells in the 11-county metropolitan area to provide information about aquifer characteristics and trends. Staff will equip 70 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

DNR will also grow our ability to evaluate changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells by installing deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer when opportunities arise. The goal for this work is one well per year.

Another goal for this program is setting up a new automated data management system that will provide better data management and integrate groundwater and surface water data.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY11, DNR scientists insalled 14 new monitoring wells in the 11-county metro politan area, and equipped 70 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

DNR installed 3 deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer.

Began work on moving Observation Well database to a new data system. Acquired a new data system to provide store and process groundwater data for use by state and local agencies. This is a cooperative effort between MPCA and the DNR. Initiated pilot project with the Cities of New Brighton, Lakeville and Lakeland to develop a mechanism to collect automated water use and ground water level data to provide better water use and availability information for local communities and state needs.

Project Overview

This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.

About the Issue

Many Twin Cities communities rely heavily on groundwater from aquifers for drinking water supplies and other domestic and industrial uses. Some aquifers are showing signs of stress; water use is exceeding aquifer recharge. Monitoring wells are the only way to get the information needed to understand the effect of pumping and land use changes so that these aquifers can be managed sustainably into the future.

Project Manager

Greg
Kruse
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN
55155
651-259-5686