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Coastal ground water at risk - Saltwater contamination at Brunswick, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4107

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Introduction

Saltwater contamination is restricting the development of ground-water supply in coastal Georgia and adjacent parts of South Carolina and Florida. The principal source of water in the coastal area is the Upper Floridan aquifer—an extremely permeable and high-yielding aquifer—which was first developed in the late 1800s. Pumping from the aquifer has resulted in substantial ground-water-level decline and subsequent saltwater intrusion of the aquifer from underlying strata containing highly saline water at Brunswick, Georgia, and with encroachment of sea-water into the aquifer at the northern end of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The saltwater contamination at these locations has constrained further development of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the coastal area and has created competing demands for the limited supply of freshwater. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GaEPD) has restricted permitted withdrawal of water from the Upper Floridan aquifer in parts of the coastal area (including the Savannah and Brunswick areas) to 1997 rates, and also has restricted additional permitted pumpage in all 24 coastal area counties to 36 million gallons per day above 1997 rates. These actions have prompted interest in alternative management of the aquifer and in the development of supplemental sources of water supply including those from the shallower surficial and upper and lower Brunswick aquifers and from the deeper Lower Floridan aquifer.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Coastal ground water at risk - Saltwater contamination at Brunswick, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2001-4107
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description:
47.00 x 37.00 inches
Country:
United States
State:
Georgia, South Carolina
City:
Brunswick
Other Geospatial:
Hilton Head Island