Groundwater availability is an important issue worldwide and throughout the United States. The US Geological Survey (USGS) within the Department of Interior is tasked with studying groundwater in the United States.
In Indianapolis, the groundwater exists as a part of the greater Glacial Aquifer System. The principle aquifer, which is present in 22 states, stretches from Montana to Maine! The principle aquifer is composed of sand and gravel with the spaces between the grains filled with groundwater. The principle aquifer is one of the largest source of public and self-supplied industrial water supply in the world and is also heavily relied on to provide irrigation supply water.
The UGSG began studying the Glacial Aquifer System in 2012. To produce this report, the agency researched the status of groundwater resources in the aquifer system, how groundwater resources have changed over time, and the likely response to groundwater resources to future changes in anthropogenic and environmental conditions. The USGS found that while the aquifer is heavily utilized to provide water for public, private, industrial, and agricultural supply, overall, the groundwater levels are generally stable, with variations between climatic conditions and local pumping.
The study found that more information is needed regarding the distribution of glacial deposits with depth, which could be evaluated using governmental water well records. Future work will focus on the patterns of groundwater recharge within both the total aquifer and localized areas.
It’s interesting to see that the aquifer that provides Indianapolis with groundwater is used across the US by so many people! This means that it is critically important for everyone to work together to protect this vast resource!
The full report is available for download from the USGS.