Ground water provides about 7.7 million gallons per day, or 28 percent of total water use in the Rhode Island part of the Blackstone River Basin. Primary aquifers in the basin are stratified glacial deposits, composed mostly of sand and gravel along valley bottoms. The ground-water and surface-water system in the Blackstone River Basin is under stress due to population growth, out-of-basin water transfers, industrialization, and changing land-use patterns. Streamflow periodically drops below the Aquatic Base Flow standard, and ground-water withdrawals add to stress on aquatic habitat during low-flow periods.
Existing hydrogeologic data were reviewed to examine historical water-level trends and to generate contour maps of water-table altitudes and transmissivity of the sand and gravel aquifer in the Blackstone River Basin in Rhode Island. On the basis of data from four long-term observation wells, water levels appear to have risen slightly in the study area during the past 55 years. Analysis of available data indicates that increased rainfall during the same period is a likely contributor to the water-level rise. Spatial patterns of transmissivity are shown over larger areas and have been refined on the basis of more detailed data coverage as compared to previous mapping studies.