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Project Work Plan

Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies

Project Work Plan FY 2003

A. GENERAL INFORMATION:

Project Title: A retrospective and critical review of aquifer storage and recovery sites and conceptual frameworks of the Upper Floridan aquifer in south Florida
Project start date: October 1, 1999 Project end date: September 30, 2004
Project Funding: USGS Place Based Studies
Principal Investigator: Ronald S. Reese
Email address: rsreese@usgs.gov
Phone: 305-717-5821 Fax: 305-717-5801
Mail address: U.S.Geological Survey, 9100 NW 36th St, Suite 107, Miami, Florida 33178

Other Investigator(s): None

Project Summary: Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) has been described as "the storage of water in a suitable aquifer through a well during times when water is available, and recovery of the water from the same well during times when it is needed". Water can be stored in aquifers with poor water quality. ASR in south Florida is proposed in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as a cost-effective water-supply alternative that can help meet needs of agricultural, municipal, and recreational users and help provide Everglades ecosystem restoration. In CERP, plans have been made to utilize ASR in the Floridan aquifer system on an unprecedented scale.

Precedence for ASR in southern Florida has been set with wells having been constructed at over 27 sites, mostly by local municipalities or counties in coastal areas. The Upper Floridan aquifer, the aquifer used at most of these sites, is brackish to saline in south Florida, which can have a large impact on the recovery of the fresh or potable water recharged and stored. Few regional investigations of the Floridan aquifer system hydrogeology in south Florida have been conducted, and the focus of those studies was not on ASR. Lacking a regional ASR framework to aid the decision-making process, ASR well sites in south Florida have been primarily located based on factors such as land availability, source-water quality, and source-water proximity (preexisting surface-water bodies, surficial aquifer system well fields, or water treatment plants). Little effort has been made to link information collected from each site as part of a regional hydrogeologic analysis.

Project Objectives and Strategy: The objectives of this study are to: (1) inventory and assess the strengths and weaknesses of available hydrogeologic, hydraulic, hydrochemical, well construction, and cycle test information at existing ASR sites, (2) conduct critical review of existing conceptual geologic and hydrogeologic frameworks and update or expand as necessary, (3) identify hydrogeologic, design, and management factors which locally or regionally constrain the efficient storage and recovery of fresh water within the Upper Floridan aquifer, and (4) evaluate techniques and methodologies that private and public operators have employed during the development of ASR facilities in south Florida.

This five-year study is divided into two phases, the first of which was two years long. The first phase laid the groundwork for data inventory, review, and analysis, and the second phase will allow for collection of additional data as it becomes available, expand the hydrogeologic framework, and perform a more complete comparative analysis of ASR sites. The study is in the second phase.

Potential Impacts and Major Products: Results of this study should help the managers of the CERP program in locating, designing, constructing, and cycle testing ASR wells. These results should help establish a standard cycle testing protocol that can be used to measure the performance of individual CERP wells or clusters of wells.

The major products from this study will be two USGS Water-Resources Investigation Reports, one for each phase. The first of these, "Inventory and review of aquifer storage and recovery in southern Florida", WRIR 02-4036, was published in May 2002. It includes sections on factors affecting recovery of freshwater, the hydrogeology of the Upper Floridan aquifer, inventory of well and test data, and case studies of four selected ASR sites. The second report will include a comparative analysis of all Floridan ASR sites that have performed adequate cycle testing or operation, and it will relate their performance to factors determined to be critical. It will also include maps on the hydrogeology of the Upper Floridan aquifer.

Collaborators: None
Clients: CERP, USACE, SFWMD, local municipalities and counties, and consulting firms involved with ASR.

B. WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Data collection and inventory
Task Leaders: Ron Reese
Phone: 305-717-5821
Fax: 305-717-5801
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Ron Reese, Michelle Edwards, and Michael Zygnerski

Task Summary and Objectives: Collect and inventory data from new and existing ASR facilities, including hydraulic, hydrochemical, well construction, and cycle test information. Objective is to develop, maintain and update databases.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Visit ASR facilities and water treatment plants, obtain monthly operating reports and daily operational data, and obtain well completion and cycle testing reports from consulting firms. Inventory data using spreadsheets.

Planned Outreach: Develop and maintain contacts with local and county municipalities, state regulators, and consulting firms involved with ASR. Attend meetings on ASR. Serve as member of CERP ASR Regional and Pilot Project Development Teams, and provide comments to Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Underground Injection Control Program as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee on permits for ASR wells and facilities in southern Florida.

Title of Task 2: Hydrogeologic delineation
Task Leaders: Ron Reese
Phone: 305-717-5821
Fax: 305-717-5801
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Ron Reese, Michelle Edwards, and Michael Zygnerski

Task Summary and Objectives: Expand and revise existing hydrogeologic frameworks of the Upper Floridan aquifer using data collected from ASR and other wells. Objective is to identify and, if possible, quantify hydrogeologic factors that affect the efficient recovery of recharged freshwater.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The hydrogeologic framework developed in previous studies will be revised and expanded using ASR wells and other recently drilled test wells. Hydrogeologic tops will be determined, and maps showing the top of the Upper Floridan aquifer, thickness of important units, and the distribution of transmissivity of the aquifer or zones within the aquifer (storage zones) will be developed. During phase 1 of this project it was shown that transmissivity, salinity, and geologic structure (at the top of the Upper Floridan aquifer or in the confining unit above the storage zone) can all affect the efficient recovery of recharged freshwater. Salinity in the Upper Floridan aquifer can be related to structure and stratigraphy.

Planned Outreach: Same as for task 1.

Title of Task 3: Evaluation
Task Leaders: Ron Reese
Phone: 305-717-5821
Fax: 305-717-5801
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Ron Reese, Michelle Edwards, and Michael Zygnerski

Task Summary and Objectives: Analyze and evaluate data collected in task 1. Objective is to identify and document hydrogeologic and design/management factors that most control the efficient storage and recovery of freshwater.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Evaluate available cycle testing data (rates, volumes, storage periods, and salinity of recovered water). Determine recovery efficiencies by two different methods (on a per cycle basis and on a cumulative basis) and construct plots. Conduct comparative analyses of all ASR sites with adequate data. Relate recovery efficiencies to hydrogeologic and design/management factors from task 1 and task 2, including any operational problems that are occurring at a site.

Planned Outreach: Same as for task 1.

Title of Task 4: Report preparation and publishing
Task Leaders: Ron Reese
Phone: 305-717-5821
Fax: 305-717-5801
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Ron Reese, Michelle Edwards, Mike Deacon, and Kim Swidarsky

Task Summary and Objectives: Publish a Water Resources Investigation Report by the end of FY04.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: (FY04:) Write topical and annotated outlines and rough draft of report. Prepare and draft illustrations using computer graphics. Have report reviewed and revise based on reviews. Obtain report approval and publish and distribute.

Planned Outreach: Same as for task 1. Additionally, give oral presentation on findings at a meeting(s).


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