NGWA efforts help achieve $3.6M for U.S. ground water monitoring network
December 22, 2015 By Ground Water Canada
Westerville, OH – The U.S. federal budget bill signed by President Obama on Dec. 18 includes further funding of the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN), the National Ground Water Association said in a news release.
The budget includes $3.6 million for the NGWMN – the amount advocated by NGWA and $1 million more than in 2015.
The money allows the U.S. Geological Survey to expand its provision of cost-share grants to states to collect and report monitoring data. This data will be used to generate a more comprehensive picture of ground water on a national scale, the NGWA said. With increased pressure on water resources, particularly in the West, the implementation of the NGWMN will help inform good management of ground water supplies across the country.
For the first time, the USGS in November invited applications for up to $2 million in NGWMN grants to states.
The funding also will support additional work by USGS to manage the network and provide data access to the public through an Internet web portal.
“This funding reflects a growing recognition by our national leaders that our national ground water resources are critically important to our country’s welfare,” said NGWA chief executive officer Kevin McCray, CAE, in the release. “Ground water makes up a significant portion of America’s freshwater resources and we cannot continue to lack definition of this segment. Looking forward, having a clearer picture of ground water availability will be vital to fully informed decisions by water resources managers and ground water end-users.”
Better quantifying of, and mapping out, America’s ground water is important because of its contribution to the nation’s economy through agriculture and industry, as well as to rural homeowners who depend on wells for their drinking water supply, the association said.
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