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Typical center-pivot system consisting of a well connected to a sprinkler system.

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Hydrogeology and Impact of Pumping on Shallow Water-Bearing Zones and the Upper Floridan Aquifer, South-Central Georgia

Project Chief: Lester J. Williams
Cooperator: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division
Year started: 2007

Problem

Map of the study area

During the drought conditions of 2007, ground-water-level declines in south-central Georgia have resulted in numerous domestic wells “going dry,” requiring pumps to be lowered or drilling of replacement wells. The cause of the declines is unknown but could be related to reduced recharge during the drought, increased pumping from the Upper Floridan aquifer, or a combination of both. Data from the Statewide ground-water monitoring network indicates that ground-water levels have declined more than 30 feet in the past 30 years (see graph, lower right). Additional data were needed to better define the geologic and hydrogeologic characteristics and the interconnection between the shallow water-bearing zones and the Upper Floridan aquifer.

Objectives

The objective of this study is to define geologic and hydrologic characteristics and interconnection of the shallow water-bearing zones and the Upper Floridan aquifer. The study area includes eight counties in south-central Georgia (see map, upper right). Field work for this study includes:

  • Inventory existing domestic and irrigation wells to provide aquifer data in areas of sparse data coverage.
  • Collect core samples and install test wells at selected sites.
  • Evaluate paleontology and stratigraphy of core samples.
  • Collect borehole geophysical logs in new and existing wells to further define the stratigraphy and hydrogeologic characteristics of the area.
  • Conduct aquifer tests in selected wells to determine hydraulic properties and aquifer interconnection.
  • Install continuous water-level recorders to establish fluctu-ations and trends in the shallow water-bearing zones.

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