Analysis of Effects of 2003 and Full-Allocation Withdrawals in Critical Area 1, East-Central New Jersey

Open-File Report 2009-1104

Prepared in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection



Critical Area 1 in east-central New Jersey was mandated in the early 1980s to address large drawdowns caused by increases in groundwater withdrawals. The aquifers involved include the Englishtown aquifer system, Wenonah-Mount Laurel aquifer, and the Upper and Middle Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifers. Groundwater levels recovered as a result of mandated cutbacks in withdrawals that began in the late 1980s. Subsequent increased demand for water has necessitated an analysis to determine the effects of full-allocation withdrawals, which supplements an optimization analysis done previously. A steady-state regional groundwater flow model is used to evaluate the effects of 2003 withdrawals and full-allocation withdrawals (7.3 million gallons per day greater than for 2003) on simulated water-levels. Simulation results indicate that the range of available withdrawals greater than full-allocation withdrawals is likely between 0 and 12 million gallons per day. The estimated range of available withdrawals is based on: (1) an examination of hydraulic-heads resulting from each of the two simulations, (2) an examination of differences in heads between these two simulations, (3) a comparison of simulated heads from each of the two simulations with the estimated location of salty groundwater, and (4) a comparison of simulated 2003 water levels to observed 2003 water levels. The results of the simulations also indicate that obtaining most of the available water would require varying the distribution of withdrawals and (or) relaxing the mandated hydrologic constraints used to protect the water supply.

Study Area

Additional publication details

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USGS Numbered Series
Analysis of Effects of 2003 and Full-Allocation Withdrawals in Critical Area 1, East-Central New Jersey
Series title:
Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
New Jersey Water Science Center
iv, 15 p.
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