WUDR Cooperative Funding Awards, FY20

Science Center Objects

The USGS Water-Use Data and Research (WUDR) program is pleased to announce the recipients of FY20 cooperative agreements. Awards were made to agencies in 10 States, for a total of about $950,000 in funding.

Department Name Project Title Project Summary
American Samoa Power Authority Improving the Availability of Water Use Data in American Samoa through Addressing Priority Needs Identified by the American Samoa Power Authority This project is to improve the availability of water use data for public supply and domestic water use in American Samoa. The proposed project will include 3 efforts to improve information on public supply and domestic water use: 1. creating a data system to extract public supply production and use data from existing SCADA system to feed data transfer to USGS in WaDE 2.0 formats and to a public interface intended to promote water conservation to the public, 2. developing an initial database of “village water systems” which supply domestic use in an unknown number of small communities, and 3. installing pressure meters and flow meters at selected sites to improve information about non-revenue water aimed at reducing system losses. 
Arkansas Natural Resources Water Use Data Entry, Storage, and Retrieval Improvements to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission's Water Use Database with Legal Digital Signature Integration.  This project will improve the current database by selecting, purchasing and implementing software with the ability to accept signatures that are legally recognized. This proposal seeks to build on a previous project (still ongoing) which implements a database replacement of a water-use data system and workflow for required water-use reporting in Arkansas. The replacement system uses the commercial product DocStar. To process legal applications and permits completely electronically, the DocStar system must be enhanced with a module to allow digital signatures, which the work proposed would select, purchase, and implement. In addition, the project also includes the purchase and implementation of a reporting module. This work will allow complete online processing of permits (thus populating the database directly) and enhanced reporting capabilities.
Maine Geological Survey Improvements to Industrial Water Use Data Collection for Maine by the Maine Geological Survey This project is to improve data collection for the industrial water use category and snow making facilities. The proposed work will include a mix of existing data evaluations and surveys. The approach compiles data currently reported by industrial wastewater permittees to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and then surveying these industrial water users to determine their sources of water, consumptive use ratios, and water used for thermoelectric generation. Surveys of ski areas that use water to make snow also will be performed, collecting data about water sources and volumes used for snowmaking.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Well Completion Report Parcel Matching and Spatial Data Improvements to Well Locations in Massachusetts to Better Evaluate Water Quantity and Quality Statewide This project will improve current and future well locations in the Well Driller Database. Of the more than 190,000 wells in the Well Driller Database, approximately 50% are assumed to be accurately located to statewide parcel data, but the remaining 50% of these wells are generally located to either a town, street, intersection, or have no location information associated with them. The proposed work includes 1) matching as many of these unlocated wells to statewide parcel data as possible and tie this information to their associated Well Completion Report (WCR, depth, lithology, static water levels, yield, etc.), 2) creating a map viewer to the Well Driller Database in order to associate well data points with WCRs through point and click technology, 3) developing an online application, script or algorithm to flag improperly located wells submitted by well drillers to improve the quality of WCR submissions, and 4) providing training for well drillers on proper WCR data submittal and geologic formation identification for each well drilled.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Integrating Source Aquifer and Groundwater Information with Montana Water Rights Query System for Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Water Use Data Program This project will sync two statewide databases that contain groundwater information to facilitate the exchange of water use data and determine the source aquifer for groundwater sites. The proposed work will sync the Water Rights Information System (WRIS), which is managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and contains water rights information for the state to the Groundwater Information Center (GWIC), which is managed by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) and contains information on groundwater resources. By syncing the two databases, users will be able to estimate annual groundwater withdrawals from source aquifers (using the appropriated volumes from WRIS and source aquifer names from GWIC). The source aquifers will be listed as the MBMG aquifer codes developed for Montana-specific aquifers, which can be easily converted to principal aquifer names used by USGS.
Oregon Water Resources Department Developing Irrigation Water Use and Efficiency Estimates for the State of Oregon This project will develop datasets and improve water use estimates of irrigated lands using satellite imagery and open source software. Irrigation accounts for 85 percent of the water used in Oregon. The proposed work will include developing datasets for field-level evapotranspiration (ET) and consumptive use (using ET minus effective precipitation), and GIS polygons of agricultural fields and field attributes (irrigation status, irrigation source type, crop type, and irrigation method).  The work will increase data resolution (these datasets are accurate to the field-level being based on Landsat imagery which has a resolution of 30 meters), improve the collection, process and quality assurance of irrigation water use data, and increase the Tier Level for irrigation – crop category.
Rhode Island Water Resources Board The Rhode Island Water Resources Board (RIWRB) and University of Rhode Island (URI) Statewide Water Withdrawal Data Enhancement and Database Development Project. This project will improve public supply water use by developing a relational database, compiling and verifying the accuracy of public water system data, and developing new estimating techniques for non-reporting public water systems. The proposed work includes 1) creating a list of all PWS systems and owners, verifying geographic information, and assigning HUC 8, 10, and 12 basins, for all wells and intakes, 2) compiling historical monthly withdrawals for 18 PWS systems that report withdrawals by specific wells/intakes for at least 2015-2020 data, 3) collecting metered data (if available) or estimating withdrawals for the non-reporting PWS using USGS methods and populations served, and 4) designing a SQL relational database and populating it with all PWS data including geographic information for all wells/intakes, HUC basins, and historical monthly metered and estimated withdrawal data. The project will accomplish the Tier 2 public supply goal to develop site specific annual and monthly withdrawals by well/intake, water source, and water type.
Texas Water Development Board Development of Water Use Estimates and Projections in the Texas Mining and Oil and Gas Industries (FY 2020) This project will analyze mining water use throughout the state for oil and gas, aggregates (crushed stone, sand, and gravel), and coal and lignite mining. Mining water use in Texas has increased exponentially within the past decade and the study will improve mining water use by 1) quantifying current and historical water use for hydraulic fracturing including produced water volumes, 2) identifying the sources of water for hydraulic fracturing, 3) developing projections of future water demand for oil & gas (2030–2080), 4) identifying locations of operations and quantify current and projected future water use for coal and lignite mining, 5) identifying locations of operations and quantify current and projected future water use for aggregates, 6) collaborating with USGS personnel on water use for the mining category, and developing an interactive data dashboard to display the mining water use estimates and demand projections. The study will address Tier 1 USGS data goals by providing annual water use estimates by county, source of water, and water type. The study will also address Tier 2 data goals by verifying specific locations for mining operations in each sub-category.
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Proposal to improve the availability, quality and transfer of water use data estimated and collected statewide by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. This project will improve accessibility to water-use data and assist water planners in understanding State water use. This proposal builds on work completed under the previous USGS Water Use Data and Research cooperative agreements and includes 1) developing interactive web dashboards for public supply, domestic, irrigation, aquaculture, hydroelectric power, wastewater treatment releases and snowmaking and 2) delivering data updates.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Quantifying Unreported Water Use for Crop Irrigation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This project will develop estimates of non-reported agricultural irrigation withdrawals and improve the understanding of the potential impact of withdrawals on water supply, particularly during dry periods. The key objectives of this proposal are 1) developing a set of coefficients to estimate unreported agricultural water withdrawals at the county level based on irrigation data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Census, the USDA Irrigation and Water Management Survey (IWMS), and literature-based estimates of crop water requirements, 2) combining the coefficients with reported irrigation withdrawals to generate a time series of monthly total irrigation withdrawals (reported plus nonreported) for major agricultural counties in Virginia, and 3) using the coefficients and reported irrigation withdrawals to estimate a range of total irrigation withdrawals under different weather scenarios (e.g. average year conditions, moderate drought conditions, and extreme drought conditions). This work will build on the Virginia’s water-use priorities.