Minnesota's Legacy

Metro Area Groundwater Monitoring

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,000,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,000,000
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Status
In Progress
Start Date
July 2010
Activity Type
Assessment/Evaluation
Monitoring
Research
Counties Affected
Anoka
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Hennepin
Isanti
Ramsey
Scott
Washington
Wright
Sherburne
Anoka
Carver
Chisago
Dakota
Hennepin
Isanti
Ramsey
Scott
Washington
Wright
Sherburne
Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY20 the DNR proposes to drill two additional wells monitoring deep bedrock aquifers install two additional data loggers for continuous groundwater level monitoring. DNR will continue to review and publish annual continuous records for the groundwater level monitoring wells in the metro area. DNR will continue to work with SWCD’s in the 11 County Metro Area to aid in our enhanced groundwater monitoring efforts. Plans also include website upgrades to provide data to the website directly from the new hydrologic database.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$252,276
Administration costs
$74,014
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.4
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY19 the DNR proposes to drill two additional wells in the deep aquifers and install five additional data loggers for continuous groundwater level monitoring. The DNR will continue to refine and expand the groundwater animations to visualize the continuously changing groundwater levels providing a better understanding of water use and aquifer responses in the 11-County Metro Area. DNR will continue to review and publish the annual continuous records for the groundwater level monitoring wells in the metro area.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY19 the DNR installed 2 deep aquifer bedrock wells. Thirteen new data loggers were installed for continuous groundwater level monitoring. DNR reviewed and published continuous water level records for monitoring wells in the metro area. All SWCD’s in the 11 County Metro Area participated in the enhanced groundwater monitoring efforts and uploaded data into the new DNR/PCA cooperative water quantity data management system.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$257,210
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.7
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY18 DNR proposes to drill five additional wells in the shallow aquifers and install five additional data loggers for continuous groundwater level monitoring. The DNR will continue to refine and expand the groundwater animations to visualize the continuously changing groundwater levels and provide a better understanding of water use and aquifer responses in the 11 County Metro Area. All SWCDs in the 11 County Area will participate in the pilot monitoring partnership in FY18 and a new data system will come on line.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY18 the DNR reviewed and published continuous water level records for monitoring wells in the metro area. DNR also developed a metro area water level animation to show monthly changes from 2012-2017. All SWCDs in the 11 County Area participate in the enhanced groundwater monitoring efforts and upload the data into the new DNR/PCA cooperative water quantity data management system. No wells were added to the network in the metro area in FY18 due to limited availability of public property in priority areas.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$544,050
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.9
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY17 the DNR will continue enhancing the processing and accessibility of groundwater network data. Enhancements will include streamlining the gathering storage and online accessibility of data for required groundwater monitoring permits in the 11-county metro and outstate areas with high groundwater appropriation volumes. Additional wells will fill some of the few remaining gaps in the metro groundwater monitoring network and a large effort will begin to transfer data into a new system better equipped to handle these large data sets.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY17 DNR installed 15 wells in the metro area including 12 to measure water levels in the deeper aquifers. Twenty new data loggers were installed to continuously measure groundwater levels bringing the total number of instrumented wells in the 11 county area to 216. Our local partner pilot program now includes 10 of the 11 metro county Soil and Water Conservations Districts (SWCD). These partnering SWCDs assist the state in measuring and downloading data in many of the wells in the metro area. The DNR compiled 134 continuous records of groundwater levels and developed a process to show animated changing groundwater levels in the area. The current animation shows monthly changes from 2012-2016. Work began to migrate all groundwater related data to a new data management system.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$250,690
Administration costs
$10,793
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.7
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY16 the DNR will continue to refine processes and compile continuous records for wells with data loggers. We will replace older model monitoring equipment with state of the art continuous monitoring equipment install additional wells and expand automated Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) data gathering with metro communities focusing on the northeast metro. SCADA information is continuous groundwater use and water level data from a community’s production and monitoring wells managed by a computerized control system. SCADA systems are water supply management systems already in place in most communities. The fact that the DNR can now get this data automatically means that we get better reporting of community water use we can use existing data networks which saves the state money on monitoring costs and that we better understand groundwater use from multiple communities in localized areas.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY16 all continuous monitoring equipment was upgraded at existing locations and an additional 132 wells were instrumented with new equipment. Upgrades to the data importing system allowed a more consistent and streamlined process for data entry and storage. The data processing upgrades now allow public access to raw data gathered from the field within two days of data downloads. One additional SCADA system was added to the metro monitoring system. This further enhances the reporting of community water use and reduces monitoring costs through the use of existing community groundwater monitoring.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$410,268
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY15 DNR hydrologists will continue to grow the 11-county monitoring well network by installing 21 monitoring wells 16 of which will be deep wells in bedrock. Additional data analysis will result in better information about aquifer characteristics and trends to be used in groundwater management decisions.

The DNR also proposes to add an additional municipality into the automated groundwater data collection project.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY15 the DNR installed equipment at White Bear Lake to provide real time water level rain fall and ground water levels from five groundwater observation wells surrounding the lake. These data will provide the public with up to date water level information and improve the understanding of surface and groundwater interactions in the Northeast Metro.

We also installed 27 deep aquifer wells instrumented 59 monitoring wells with continuous water level monitoring equipment and compiled 118 annual records for groundwater level monitoring. These records improve understanding about groundwater levels interaction between aquifers and how aquifer levels respond to groundwater use in the 11 County Metro Area – information that is essential for providing sustainable water supplies for people and ecosystems.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$246,082
Administration costs
$15,045
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY14 DNR scientists will continue to grow the 11-county monitoring well network by installing 15 monitoring wells 7 of which will be deep wells in bedrock. Additional data analysis will result in better information about aquifer characteristics and trends to be used in groundwater management decisions.

The DNR also proposes to further identify the flow patterns and aquifer characteristics within the 11 County Metro through water chemistry sampling and hydraulic testing a subset of the monitoring wells.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY14 DNR scientists installed 15 aquifer monitoring wells including 10 in deep bedrock aquifers. Through the well installation process scientists were able to gather valuable information about the bedrock geology and aquifers in the Twin Cities Metro Area. DNR scientists also equipped these 15 new wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data. Scientist compiled and completed continuous water level records for 36 wells with continuous data loggers. These wells and data provide information about regionally important aquifers that will improve future management decisions.

In FY 14 scientists completed the migration of groundwater data into a state cooperative water data system. The pilot project to test the collection of real-time automated municipal groundwater data continued adding an additional municipality (water level and pumping data from 21 municipal wells used in the community). The public display of these data is under development. When established this public display of groundwater level information will help state scientists and communities better understand local and regional water use and manage future needs.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
N/A
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$0
Direct expenses
$516,651
Administration costs
$74,970
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.3
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY13 DNR scientists will continue to grow the 11-county monitoring well network by installing 20 monitoring wells 10 of which will be deep wells in bedrock. Additional data analysis will result in better information about aquifer characteristics and trends to be used in groundwater management decisions.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY13 DNR scientists installed 15 aquifer monitoring wells including 4 in deep bedrock aquifers. A change in the field manager for this project resulted in a decrease in well installation from the FY13 target. Through the well installation process scientists were able to gather valuable information about the bedrock geology and aquifers in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Staff also equipped 25 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data. These wells and data provide information about regionally important aquifers that will improve future management decisions.

In FY 13 work continued on the migration of groundwater data into a state cooperative water data system. The pilot project to test the collection of real-time automated municipal groundwater data was completed with one municipality (water level and pumping data from 9 municipal wells) and initiated with a second municipality. The public display of these data is under development. When established this public display of groundwater level information will help state scientists and communities better understand local and regional water use and manage future needs.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011 First Special Session Chp. 6 Art. 2 Sec. 6(i)
Appropriation Language

$1000000 the first year is for implementation of the metropolitan groundwater monitoring and protection activities under Minnesota Laws 2010 chapter 361 article 2 section 4 subdivision 2.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,000,000
Direct expenses
$570,997
Administration costs
$142,026
Number of full time equivalents funded
2.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY12 DNR scientists will continue establishing a network of monitoring wells in the 11-county metropolitan area to provide information about aquifer characteristics and trends. Staff will install 20 new wells and equip 40 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

DNR will also grow our ability to evaluate changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells by installing deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer when opportunities arise. The goal for this work is one well per year.

Another goal for this program is to complete development of and implement a new automated data management system that will provide better data management and integrate groundwater and surface water data.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY12 DNR scientists installed 28 aquifer monitoring wells including 14 in deep aquifers (installed in bedrock). Through the well installation process scientists were able to gather more and better valuable information about bedrock geology in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Staff equipped 146 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data. These wells and data loggers provide information about aquifers stressed from pumping providing managers with better information for management decisions.

Work began on the migration of data from observations wells (groundwater data) into the surface water data system in order to integrate these two important data sets. A pilot project is underway to test real time automated data collection storage and public display of groundwater data.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2010 Ch. 361 Art. 2 Sec. 4
Appropriation Language

The $5000000 appropriated in Laws 2009 chapter 172 article 2 section 4 paragraph (m) for activities relating to groundwater protection or prevention of groundwater degradation is canceled and $4000000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2011 to the commissioner of natural resources for the following purposes: (1) establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11-county metropolitan area that monitors non-stressed systems to provide information on aquifer characteristics and natural water level trends; and (2) develop an automated data system to capture groundwater level and water use data to enhance the evaluation of water resource changes in aquifer systems that are stressed by pumping of existing wells. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until spent. The base funding for this program in fiscal year 2012 is $1000000 and $0 in fiscal year 2013.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,000,000
Direct expenses
$488,836
Administration costs
$32,400
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY11 DNR scientists will establish a network of monitoring wells in the 11-county metropolitan area to provide information about aquifer characteristics and trends. Staff will equip 70 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

DNR will also grow our ability to evaluate changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells by installing deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer when opportunities arise. The goal for this work is one well per year.

Another goal for this program is setting up a new automated data management system that will provide better data management and integrate groundwater and surface water data.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In FY11 DNR scientists installed 14 new monitoring wells in the 11-county metropolitan area and equipped 70 new and existing wells with continuous data loggers to collect groundwater level data.

The DNR installed 3 deep aquifer monitoring wells in the Mt. Simon Aquifer.

The DNR began work on moving observation well database to a new data system and acquired a new data system to provide store and process groundwater data for use by state and local agencies. This is a cooperative effort between MPCA and the DNR. Initiated pilot project with the Cities of New Brighton Lakeville and Lakeland to develop a mechanism to collect automated water use and ground water level data to provide better water use and availability information for local communities and state needs.

Project Overview

This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.

About the Issue

Many Twin Cities communities rely heavily on groundwater from aquifers for drinking water supplies and other domestic and industrial uses. Some aquifers are showing signs of stress; water use is exceeding aquifer recharge. Monitoring wells are the only way to get the information needed to understand the effect of pumping and land use changes so that these aquifers can be managed sustainably into the future.

Project Manager
First Name
Joy
Last Name
Loughry
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
State
MN
Phone
(651) 539-2109
Email
joy.loughry@state.mn.us