Hydrologic and Hydrogeologic Assessments
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
ICPRB compiles surface and groundwater data and develops complex tools to conduct hydrologic and hydrogeologic assessments to 1) improve understanding of the natural environment and 2) assess potential impacts of anthropogenic activities. Projects include:
- Impervious Cover Assessment
- Building on the results of the Middle Potomac River Watershed Assessment that found drastic alteration in flows when impervious surface exceeds 0.4 to 2.1 percent, ICPRB evaluated whether stream flow in the Potomac basin is more susceptible to alteration from impervious cover in areas with certain watershed characteristics.
- Groundwater monitoring
- The USGS develops and maintains the Potomac basin real-time monitoring well network with funding from USGS and ICPRB CO-OP. The network is useful for evaluating current conditions and past trends in groundwater levels.
- As part of a collaboration with ICPRB, the USGS monitors groundwater levels in a network of wells in Adams County, Pa.
- Monocacy River surface/groundwater flow modeling
- ICPRB investigated the potential impact of future groundwater withdrawals on stream flow utilizing the Upper Monocacy surface/groundwater stream flow model.
- ICPRB developed a steady-state model for the entire Monocacy basin which simulates long-term average aquifer levels and stream base flows
- Watershed water budgets
- ICPRB staff utilized annual and seasonal water budgets for the Monocacy/Catoctin drainage area to assess groundwater availability.
- Potomac basin groundwater recharge was assessed by ICPRB staff utilizing statistical regional baseflow models to estimate annual recharge to the fractured bedrock aquifers for water resources or watershed management purposes.
- State and local water resources planning efforts often include the development of annual and seasonal water budgets.
- Investigations of Coastal Plain water resources issues
- ICPRB organized two workshops to discuss water resources issues in the Coastal Plain. The workshops were held in June 2005, in La Plata, Md., and in March 2006, in Dalgren, Va.