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Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions

Groundwater and surface water are often managed separately. However, the physical and chemical interaction between these systems is often integral to the successful management of water resources. Waterline has extensive experience assessing and quantifying physical and chemical interactions between groundwater and surface water features using a variety of investigative methods.


Groundwater-Surface Water Flow Directions: Elevation and pressure are the driving forces behind groundwater flow and determine where groundwater discharges to streams and where streams recharge aquifers. Waterline routinely evaluates these directions of flow in regional and local groundwater systems.

Geochemistry: Potential groundwater discharge to streams or stream recharge to aquifers can often be confirmed from an assessment of groundwater and surface water chemistry. Waterline conducts sampling programs and uses aqueous geochemistry to evaluate groundwater recharge or discharge conditions and chemistry.

Groundwater Tracers: Stable and radiogenic isotopes can be used as conservative tracers of groundwater and contaminants across groundwater-surface water boundaries. Waterline often conducts isotope sampling and analysis work at projects where general chemistry results are ambiguous and the implementation of a management step or plan requires further investigation.

Effects of Pumping Wells on Streams: Productive aquifers are often located in groundwater discharge areas close to sensitive stream environments. Identifying the effects of groundwater withdrawal from the effects of seasonal variability and climatic factors on stream discharge rates is challenging and requires an integrated approach. Waterline integrates the investigative methods above with groundwater modeling to assess the physical and chemical impacts of pumping on streams.

Environmental Effects of Impacted Water on Surface Water Bodies: Waterline uses cost-effective physical and geochemical approaches to determine the transport pathways and management strategies for potential and identified impacts near or within surface water bodies.



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