Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM
ASSESSING WATER RESOURCE SUSTAINABILITY IN FRACTURED CRYSTALLINE BEDROCK: A STUDY OF THE EXPANDED USE OF IRRIGATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT AGRICULTURAL FARM, STORRS, CT
The University of Connecticut Agricultural Farm in Storrs, CT desired to expand the use of bedrock irrigation wells in order to sustain their turf research. In order to quantify the possible impacts to domestic wells in the neighboring community, we conducted a study that evaluated the increase use of the groundwater in the fractured bedrock. The study included conducting a water budget and pumping tests in already existing wells. When the water budget was being developed, several important parameters needed to be estimated in order to complete it. These included the amount of water recharging the bedrock from the overburden with and without pumping, the amount of irrigation water that recharges the groundwater, the source area of the wells, and the amount of water stored in the fractured rock. The university subsequently installed three irrigation wells and four monitoring wells to evaluate nearby impacts. To help determine key water budget factors we are using bedrock and overburden hydrographs. Although hydrographs have been extensively used in surface water hydrology, they have received little attention in addressing water budget issues, especially in wells in fractured crystalline rock. Several overburden wells will be drilled at the farm to determine the interaction between the water in the overburden and the bedrock with and without pumping. They will also be used to find how much the irrigation recharges the surficial material and ultimately the bedrock. Other tests, such as down-hole logging, will help determine the nature of the fractures that recharge the wells. Pumping tests and tracer studies will appraise how the fractures interconnect. This will help determine the source area to the wells, and ultimately the effects of the increased pumping.