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U.S. Geological Survey Georgia Water Science Center and City of Brunswick–Glynn County Cooperative Water Program— Summary of activities, July 2005 through June 2006

January 29, 2007

Since 1959, the U.S. Geological Survey has conducted a cooperative water resources program (CWP) with the City of Brunswick and Glynn County in the Brunswick, Georgia, area. Since the late 1950s, the salinity of ground water in the Upper Floridan aquifer near downtown Brunswick, Georgia, has been increasing, and its occurrence has been detected across an area of increasing size. Pumping of the Upper Floridan aquifer near downtown Brunswick has lowered water levels in the aquifer and resulted in an upward hydraulic gradient between the highly saline parts of the Lower Floridan aquifer and the normally fresh Upper Floridan aquifer. Saltwater likely enters the Upper Floridan aquifer through localized, vertically oriented conduits of relatively high permeability and moves laterally in response to the distribution of stresses within the aquifer.

The Brunswick-Glynn County CWP for fiscal year 2006 includes the operation and maintenance of 12 continuous water-level recorders. In addition, water-level data were collected from 52 wells and water from 70 wells was analyzed for chloride concentration during June 2005. Geophysical logs were obtained from one well to assess whether the cause of elevated chloride concentration could be due to leaky well casing. A summary of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (GaEPD) Georgia Coastal Sound Science Initiative (CSSI) activities that directly benefit the CWP-Brunswick-Glynn County is included in this report. The GaEPD CSSI is a program of scientific and feasibility studies to support development of a final strategy to protect the Upper Floridan aquifer from saltwater contamination. These data presented in this report are needed by State and local authorities to manage water resources effectively in the coastal area of Georgia.