The Edwards Aquifer: The Past, Present, and Future of a Vital Water Resource
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The Edwards aquifer system is one of the great karstic aquifer systems of the world. It supplies water for more than 2 million people and for agricultural, municipal, industrial, and recreational uses. The Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone) Aquifer in the San Antonio, Texas, area was the first to be designated a sole source aquifer by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1975. The Edwards Aquifer also hosts unique groundwater, cave, and spring ecosystems. This 27-chapter memoir reviews the current state of knowledge, current and emerging challenges to wise use of the aquifer system, and some of the technologies that must be adopted to address these challenges.
Multilevel monitoring of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers
Published:September 10, 2019
Brian A. Smith, Brian B. Hunt, 2019. "Multilevel monitoring of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers", The Edwards Aquifer: The Past, Present, and Future of a Vital Water Resource, John M. Sharp, Jr., Ronald T. Green, Geary M. Schindel
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Multiport monitor wells have been used by the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to study complex, multilayer, and stacked aquifers in central Texas. Much of the data from water wells that are used for hydrogeological studies are of limited use owing to the thickness of the aquifers, vertical variation in hydraulic properties, and the often-uncertain completion of the wells. To address these concerns, hydrogeologists and engineers have employed various methods, such as installation of nested wells, multilevel completions in a single borehole, and multiport wells. The BSEACD has used multiport wells to determine vertical variations in an aquifer and the hydraulic relationships between stacked aquifers. With multiport wells, properties such as hydraulic head, temperature, hydraulic conductivity, and water quality of discrete units within an aquifer can be determined. The use of multiport wells has shown how portions of the Upper Trinity lithologic units are hydraulically connected to the overlying Edwards lithologic units, and how the Edwards Aquifer is hydraulically isolated from the Middle and Lower Trinity Aquifers.