Towards Understanding the Impact of Drought on the Arsenic Hazard for the Private Domestic Well Population in the United States

Science Center Objects

The USGS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are examining the potential effects of droughts on the arsenic hazard in private well water across the Nation.

Together, we are using existing models that can be modified with drought-influenced data, such as conditions that occurred in August of 2012, on recharge and precipitation to assess the effects on the probability of having high-arsenic wells.  The estimates can then be used to assess potential changes in the number of domestic well users exposed to high arsenic and examine regional effects.

Specifically, this study’s objectives are to:

  • Estimate the probability of having high arsenic in domestic wells under different drought scenarios; and
  • Estimate the change in the number of domestic well users exposed to high-arsenic well water due to drought conditions.