Indiana-Kentucky Climate Response Network

Science Center Objects

Do you recall the drought of 2012? Precipitation deficits during July 2012 were widespread. Morse Reservoir was a prominent sight that was highly visible in the news. Photos showed million dollar mansions with boats stranded on the lakebed. This drought took many by surprise, however, there were hydrologic signs during 2011. Events like this (and California) have brought some welcome attention to groundwater monitoring projects.

National Map of the Climate Response Network
National map of the USGS climate response network

In 2015, the SECURE Water Act required USGS to expand the Climate Response Network and provided funding for instrumentation, operation and maintenance. The Climate Response Network is a real-time groundwater network intended to describe groundwater levels in all climate divisions of the United States. Data from the network will describe response of the Nation's  aquifers to weather and climate.


  • Public Law 111-1 (The SECURE Water Act) authorizes USGS to expand the Climate Response Network (CRN)
  • USGS delegated responsibility to Office of Ground Water
    • Monitoring wells that met the Well-Selection criteria were identified; the most appropriate well was selected in each climate division
  • Network will enable hydrologists to
    • Monitor drought and other climate variability
    • Separate climate from other water-level impacts
    • Estimate aquifer recharge

Well-Selection Criteria

  • Open to a single, known hydrogeologic unit
  • Known well construction
  • Unconfined or near-surface & responsive
  • Unaffected by pumpage or surface water
  • Long-term accessibility
  • Never dry
  • Historic record
  • Existing
  • One well per NWS climate division

The NEW Climate Response Network (CRN)

During 2016, six monitoring wells in Indiana and four in Kentucky were instrumented to provide real-time groundwater level data. The Climate Response Network will eventually include nine real-time monitoring wells in Indiana and four in Kentucky.

Kentucky map of the Climate Response Network site locations


Kentucky Climate Response Network sites





Indiana Climate Response Network sites

National Weather Service Indiana ClimaticRegions
NWS Indiana Climatic Regions









    Additional Groundwater Data 

    Big Picture - Future Plans

    • Compliments Indiana-Kentucky efforts to grow groundwater and soil-moisture networks and programs
    • Moves United States closer to a real-time water balance and management model
    • The ‘ramp-up’ will add at least one new Climate Response Network well per state per year until all climate divisions are represented
    • Operation and Maintenance will continue ‘forever’