A recent federal budget bill signed by the president includes further funding of the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN). The budget includes $3.6 million for the monitoring, the amount advocated by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and $1 million more than in 2015.

“This funding reflects a growing recognition by our national leaders that our national groundwater resources are critically important to our country’s welfare,” says NGWA Chief Executive Officer Kevin McCray, CAE. “Groundwater makes up a significant portion of America’s freshwater resources and we cannot continue to lack definition of this segment. Looking forward, having a clearer picture of groundwater availability will be vital to fully informed decisions by water resources managers and groundwater end-users.”

The money allows the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to expand its provision of cost-share grants to states to collect and report monitoring data. This data will be used to generate a more comprehensive picture of groundwater on a national scale. With increased pressure on water resources in the U.S., the NGWMN will help inform future management of groundwater supplies.

For the first time, the USGS invited applications for up to $2 million in NGWMN grants to states in November 2015.

The funding will also support additional work by USGS to manage the network and provide data access to the public through an Internet web portal.

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit www.ngwa.org.