Dec 22, 2015

Federal Budget Bill Includes $3.6 Million for Groundwater Monitoring

NGWA efforts help achieve $3.6 million for National Ground-Water Monitoring Network

National Ground-Water Monitoring Network NGWA groundwater funding

The federal budget bill signed by President Obama on Dec. 18, 2015 includes further funding of the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN), the National Ground Water Association announced today.

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 (USGS) 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 groundwater on a national scale. With increased pressure on water resources, particularly in the West, the implementation of the NGWMN will help inform good management of groundwater 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 groundwater resources are critically important to our country’s welfare,” said NGWA CEO Kevin McCray, CAE. “Groundwater 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 groundwater availability will be vital to fully informed decisions by water resources managers and groundwater end users.”

Better quantifying of, and mapping out, America’s groundwater 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.