Your Questions Answered
Q: What does data collection mean?
A: Data collection is the process of gathering, measuring and analyzing specific information to fix a problem. District geologists perform data collection to help answer scientific and engineering questions in managing water supplies, preserving natural systems and protecting against flooding. The District's Data Collection Bureau is responsible for collecting a majority of the long-term monitoring data.
Q: What types of data does the District collect?
A: The District oversees, collects, and analyzes numerous data for long-term monitoring trends and specific projects. Staff collect data including water levels, water quality, atmospheric, topographical survey, hydraulic, and geologic data following applicable state and federal guidelines. District scientists conduct water quality analyses in a certified laboratory and primarily test for chloride, sulfate and total dissolved solids.
Q: How does the District collect data?
A: The District collects data from monitor wells, springs, rain gauges, and surface water bodies throughout the 16-county region. The District collects hydraulic data to understand specific features of the aquifer. Staff collects geologic data from land surface to approximately 3,000 feet below using a coring rig and that data is collected from the core holes to gain an understanding of the aquifer’s characteristics. Geologists study this information and use it to construct wells to monitor each aquifer. District staff also collect atmospheric data from rain gauges, and water level and water quality data from groundwater and surface water sites including lakes, rivers, wells and springs.
Q: How many data collection sites does the District monitor?
A: The District monitors water levels at more than 1,600 well sites and more than 800 surface water sites throughout the region. District staff monitor rainfall at 170 sites. Staff collect water quality samples from 82 spring sites, 226 surface water sites and 524 wells. Staff evaluate data collection at monitoring sites every three years, and those sites that are no longer needed are discontinued.
Q: What does the District do with the collected data?
A: Staff analyze all collected data for accuracy and then the data are imported into the District's new Environmental Data Portal and the Geohydrologic Data Monitor-Well Sites Viewer. The well construction data is summarized in a hydrogeologic report, the water level and atmospheric data are summarized monthly in a Hydrologic Conditions Report, and the groundwater water quality data are summarized in the Groundwater Quality Viewer. Staff also prepare several maps to help better understand the data visually. These data and maps are used by District staff, state agencies, local governments, consultants, universities, environmental groups, and the public for various scientific and engineering studies throughout the state.
Q: Can the public see the District’s data collection?
A: Yes, all of the data collected and mapped are available for download from the District's Data and Maps website under the Resources tab on the District's main webpage at WaterMatters.org. You can download geologic reports from the Geohydrologic Data Monitor-Well Sites Viewer and access data downloads through the District's new Environmental Data Portal.
Sandie Will, P.G.
Data Collection Bureau Chief