CGDA Projects
  
  
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Groundwater geochemistry of Indiana aquifers: database development and analysis of the natural chemical character of bedrock and glacial aquifer systems

Issue

The mineral character of groundwater varies greatly throughout Indiana impacting the taste of drinking water and industrial applications of groundwater.

Objective

Compile groundwater geochemical analyses conducted in Indiana into a standardized database and analyze the data based on unique aquifer systems.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Pilot Program to Evaluate using Chloride as a Tracer for Estimating Recharge Rates

Issue

There are methods for estimating the proportion of groundwater contribution to stream flow through hydrograph separation methods, but these methods do not provide rates of groundwater recharge to the subsurface. Tritium has been used in a handful of locations in Indiana to determine recharge rates, but the technique is no longer useful because of the short half-life and time since bomb testing in the 1960s. Chloride has been used successfully in semi-arid to arid regions by measuring the concentration in water and soil water below the root zone. Chloride infiltrates into the ground by atmospheric deposition from the oceans (more is deposited near the coasts, less inland), and is conservative because it is not taken up by vegetation.

Objective

Collect sediment samples and analyze them for chloride and conduct a mass balance to determine the rate of groundwater recharge.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Preliminary analysis of arsenic in groundwater

Issue

Arsenic is a carcinogen, and if consumed in drinking water could be a persistent risk to those that consume it. The spatial distribution and causes (i.e., natural or anthropogenic) in Indiana are unknown.

Objective

We seek to undertake a preliminary analysis of geochemical information from several agencies (IGS, USGS, IDEM, MCHD) to understand the distribution of arsenic in groundwater in Indiana.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Spatial analysis of 20 water utilities in Indiana

Issue

The issue of water-resources planning is coming to the forefront in Indiana. As a first step in this process, a reconnaissance-level survey of the 20 largest water utilities is being undertaken by the Indiana Finance Authority.

Objective

This project will support the larger study of the water utilities, focusing on providing a data-quality and accuracy assessment of the locations of 20 water utilities in Indiana. In addition, each water-extraction point (well or intake) will be characterized with respect to a suite of spatial landscape data layers.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



The Indiana Water Balance Network (IWBN)

Issue

Climate change with its associated droughts and floods highlight the need to improve our understanding of water budgets in Indiana to facilitate improved water-resource planning.

Objective

The Indiana Water Balance Network (IWBN) was developed to monitor trends in water loss and gain for different components of the hydrologic cycle in various hydrogeologic settings.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Unsaturated-zone hydrology of glacial hydrogeologic settings in Indiana

Issue

Understanding water movement through the unsaturated zone is essential to maximizing agricultural productivity, minimizing flood impacts, limiting contaminant transport to aquifers, and elucidating potential climate-change impacts on Indiana’s water resources.

Objective

Unsaturated zone data from monitoring sites in eight unique glacial hydrogeologic settings are processed and analyzed to better understand rates of water movement toward underlying aquifers and adjacent surface water bodies.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)





 
 
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