Ground water is one of the Nation's most important natural resources. It provides about 40 percent of our Nation's public water supply. Currently, nearly one-half of New Jersey's drinking-water is supplied by over 300,000 wells that serve more than 4.3 million people (John P. Nawyn, U.S. Geological Survey, written commun., 2007). New Jersey's population is projected to grow by more than a million people by 2030 (U.S. Census Bureau, accessed March 2, 2006, at http://www.census.gov). As demand for water increases, managing the development and use of the ground-water resource so that the supply can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or social consequences is of paramount importance.
This report describes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New Jersey Water Science Center Observation Well Networks. Record low ground-water levels during water year 2006 (October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006) are listed, and water levels in six selected water-table observation wells and three selected confined wells are shown in hydrographs. The report describes the trends in water levels in various confined aquifers in southern New Jersey and in water-table and fracture rock aquifers throughout the State. Web site addresses to access the data also are included.
The USGS has operated a network of observation wells in New Jersey since 1923 for the purpose of monitoring ground-water-level changes throughout the State. Long-term systematic measurement of water levels in observation wells provides the data needed to evaluate changes in the ground-water resource over time. Records of ground-water levels are used to evaluate the effects of climate changes and water-supply development, to develop ground-water models, and to forecast trends.