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The State of Groundwater Assessment in Alabama
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Guthrie G.M.
The Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA) Groundwater Assessment Program has two priorities in support of the development of a state-wide water management plan. The first priority is to monitor the state's groundwaters by: (1) conducting bi-yearly water level sampling, (2) expanding the real-time and continuously monitored well network, and (3) developing a GIS-based well database. The second priority is to utilize information from the initial assessment report entitled "Assessment of Groundwater Resources in Alabama 2010-2016", published as GSA Bulletin 186 in 2018, in conjunction with new data to develop a comprehensive integrated and calibrated water model for the state that will incorporate groundwater, surface water, land use, water use, and climatic data. Alabama's water resources are distributed in diverse settings, so the model will be a composite of subareas defined by HUC-8 boundaries rather than a singular state-wide model. The modeling process will utilize pilot projects representative of the state's aquifers to develop procedures that will be used in subsequent modeling of comparable aquifer environments. Two pilot projects have been initiated: the north Alabama Wheeler Lake HUC-8 and the west Alabama Middle Tombigbee-Choctaw HUC-8, representing the Appalachian Plateau and Gulf Coastal Plain aquifers, respectively. Future pilot projects will focus on basins located in the Valley and Ridge and Piedmont areas of the state. The model is being developed to allow responsible parties to make water-related and policy decisions in response to changing water stresses.