The Mission of the Center for Sustainable Groundwater (CSG) is to provide information services to organizations, governments, and landowners for the sustainable development and management of ground water supply. CSG uses earth science, social science, and ecology to characterize community water supply systems through geophysical surveying and groundwater supply planning.Â The Center is unique in its focus on the intersection of groundwater ecology and hydrology.
CSG is a new sister company of Virginia Groundwater, LLC, a groundwater, geology, and geophysics consulting firm begun in 2002 and located in Charlottesville, Virginia, that specializes in the location of groundwater resources for landowners. The Center is also affiliated with ConservTM, a web-based marketplace for conservation, also located in Charlottesville.Â Â The Center designs groundwater programs that enable long-term utilization of well water by our clients, while at the same time safeguarding groundwater ecosystem services, through our experience in hydrogeology and sustainability.
The Center provides site specific and regional scales of management solutions to our clients.
Site Specific Groundwater Management
Our site specific groundwater services are focused on the delivery of a single goal – the greatest yield possible for the longest possible time. Practically, this means the highest possible pumping rate without depletion of water-bearing zones.
To deliver this goal, the Center uses in-house specialized equipment and information, including geologic and soils mapping, air photos, geophysical surveys, land use data, and a variety of borehole analyses, to determine the optimum location and pumping rate for community water supply systems, while maintaining water table and soil moisture for groundwater and food security, a particularly critical issue for groundwater in developing countries and in arid regions of the industrialized world.
Our programs begin with a holistic assessment of existing natural and human systems that comprise the area of need. We then apply science and state-of-the-art technology to investigating groundwater recharge, flow and availability, culminating with selection of optimal sites for water well placement. Our personnel then oversee design and drilling of wells, and develop a management plan that ensures sustainability into the future. The Center’s affiliation with Virginia Groundwater provides applied, market-based knowledge, essential for the implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable drinking water solutions.
Regional Groundwater Management
Our regional groundwater services provide governments and organizations another goal – the sustainable yield of groundwater from a particular hydrogeologic setting or area. The Center defines “sustainable yield” to mean the quantity of water that can be provided for human needs while also leaving adequate supply for ecosystem (natural) services.
The delivery of this goal necessarily involves additional information, including stream morphology and macroinvertebrate data, rainfall data, land cover and impervious surface information, and percolation and aquifer data and mapping. It also is a collaborative process, involving multiple community stakeholders, working together to meet multiple water-related interests.
Increasingly, local, state, and federal governments are seeking to quantify regional sustainable yield to protect groundwater ecology and eliminateÂ groundwater mining.
The Center’s staff has decades of experience in the development of local government policy in the U.S. to sustainably manage groundwater resources. These include source water protection, hydrogeologic investigations, tiered groundwater-based land development policies, groundwater pollution potential mapping, and identification and management of legacy pesticide and herbicide contaminants.