Management of ground water and evolving hydrogeologic studies in New Jersey : a heavily urbanized and industrialized state in the northeastern United States

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4277



New Jersey is the most densely populated and one of the most industrialized states in the United States. An abundance of freshwater and proximity to major northeastern metropolitan centers has facilitated this development. Pumpage of freshwater from all aquifers in the State in 1980 was 730 million gallons per day (2.76 million cubic meters per day).

Management and efficient development of the ground-water resources of the State are the responsibility of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Laws have been enacted and updated by the State legislature to manage water allocation and to control the disposal of hazardous wastes. Present resource management is guided by the New Jersey Water-Supply Master Plan of 1981. Funding for management activities is partially derived from the sale of state-approved bonds.

Effective planning and regional management require accurate and up-to-date hydrologic information and analyses. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Geological Survey, is conducting three intensive ground-water studies involving the collection and interpretation of hydrologic data to meet the urgent water-management needs of New Jersey. These studies are part of a long-term cooperative program and are funded through the Water-Supply Bond Act of 1981. They began in 1983 and are scheduled to be completed in 1988.

The project areas are situated in the New Jersey part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain in and near Atlantic City, Camden, and South River. They range in size from 400 to 1,200 mil (1,040 to 3,120 km2). The studies are designed to define the geology, hydrology, and geochemistry of the local ground-water systems. The results of these studies will enable the State to address more effectively major problems in these areas such as declining water levels, overpumping, saltwater intrusion, and ground-water contamination resulting from the improper disposal of hazardous wastes.

Specific objectives of these studies by the U.S. Geological Survey are to (1) develop an accurate and up-to-date hydrogeologic data base, (2) design and implement a data-collection program and establish a computerized information management system, (3) refine the conceptualization of the ground-water flow system, and (4) define the geochemistry of the aquifer system by conducting a water-quality appraisal. The objectives are accomplished by standard hydrogeologic methods. Information concerning hydrogeologic framework, ground-water levels, water use, hydraulic characteristics, and water quality in the study areas is compiled from all available sources. Additional data needed are collected through well inventories, surface geophysical surveys, water-quality samplings, water-level measurements, and a well-drilling program.

Interpretation of the flow system is based on the use of standard analytical techniques and digital flow modeling. Calibrated flow models will provide ground-water managers with a mechanism to develop and test regional water-supply strategies.

Definition of the geochemistry of the aquifer system is accomplished through a variety of methods which depend on the problems and available data in the particular study area. The approach includes statistical analysis of water-quality data, reaction-path modeling, and determination of the movement of chemical constituents using analytical and numerical modeling techniques.

A combined staff of 25 to 30 professionals and technicians from the New Jersey District office of the U.S. Geological Survey is committed to the three studies. The staff has specialists in geohydrology, numerical modeling, geochemistry, geophysics, and computer science. The findings of these studies will be published in data reports, interpretive reports, instructional manuals and journal articles.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Management of ground water and evolving hydrogeologic studies in New Jersey : a heavily urbanized and industrialized state in the northeastern United States
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 85-4277
DOI 10.3133/wri854277
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description iv, 27 p.
Country United States
State New Jersey
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