Cheryl A Buchwald


Cheryl Buchwald is a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 2000. For most of her career, she works on county, regional, and national-scale hydrogeologic investigations providing research, database, and GIS support. In 2003, she became the Water-Use Specialist for Wisconsin, responsible for compiling, analyzing and disseminating the State’s water-use data as part of the National Water Availability and Use Science Program. She has led several water-use components for national studies, including the first National Water Census pilot study of the Great Lakes Basin and the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program’s regional assessment of public-supply groundwater use within the Glacial Aquifer System. She is an expert for USGS' Site-Specific Water-Use Database (SWUDS) and liaison between national water-use program and local water science center staff.

Her other roles include being a Database Administrator for the WI’s Ground-Water Site-Inventory (GWSI), Aggregated Water-Use Data System (AWUDS), SWUDS, and two Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Fish Management and Beach Health databases.



B.S. Geology - University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000)


Areas of Expertise

  • Water-use science, including developing methods for quantifying water withdrawals to improve our understanding of how water is used in order to meet current and future demands
  • Scholarly peer review of water-use subject matters and procedural documents
  • Database user acceptance testing for the USGS’s National Water Information System (NWIS) water-use databases
  • Proficient in using USGS’s Ground Water Site Inventory (GWSI), Management and Population of Sites (MAPS), Site-specific Water-Use Data System (SWUDS), and Aggregate Water-Use Data System (AWUDS)
  • GIS support for regional hydrogeologic investigations, specifically groundwater-flow models
  • Data support and training for project data needs assessment and data collection, organization, analysis, management, and dissemination

Current Projects

  • Public-supply record and water service area spatial layer development as part of the National Water Census and Water Budget Estimation and Evaluation Project
  • Lead Upper Midwest Water Use Research Team investigating unaccounted water use due to state reporting threshold differences, public-supply deliveries to customer classifications, explanatory variables to describe and predict industrial water use, and new approaches to visualize water-use data.
  • Every five years, since 2000, determine and report on water use for Wisconsin by county, category, and water source type
  • SWUDS Technical Expert and Liaison between State Water-Use Specialists and project management
  • Member and trainer for the USGS’s Water Use Operations Support Team (WUOST)
  • Provide database and application support for WDNR’s Fish Management Program
  • Provide database and application support for Wisconsin’s Beach Health website and internal data management system
  • Web content manager for Upper Midwest Water Science Center-Wisconsin Office

Past Noteworthy Projects

  • Project lead for the public-supply groundwater-use study component of NAWQA's glacial principal aquifer study
  • Assisted with determining Wisconsin’s groundwater use by aquifer system for the 2015 water-use compilation (in review)
  • Participated in more than 20 USGS hydrogeologic investigations, providing water-use datasets and GIS support at various spatial scales, such as for the Glacial Aquifer system of the United States, Lower St. Croix Subbasin, Rock River Basin, Southeastern Wisconsin, Dane County, Oneida Indian Reservation, and Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery
  • Worked with the WDNR Water Use Section to develop data model for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact water-use database and provide input on administrative rule development about consumptive water use
  • Member of the National assessment on the availability and use of water resources within the Great Lakes Basin
  • Developed GIS method to automate process for creating Wisconsin’s Lakeshed Delineation Dataset to support the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership
  • Project team leader for Wisconsin’s interagency team to develop its Watershed Boundary Dataset
  • Member of the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) National Water Quality Monitoring Council to provide database management for the National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI) and web support for Volunteer Monitoring
  • Help protect WI’s groundwater through developing a comprehensive planning website