How do you define principal and major Aquifers?
Principal aquifers are
defined by the USGS in the Ground Water Atlas.
Major aquifers are regional
aquifers defined within the USGS Ground Water Atlas. A
table listing the major aquifers within each principal
aquifer is available here.
Can funding be used to support costs
of data collection?
The only data collection that is allowed
is to fill gaps in information at NGWMN sites. Well
logging of sites or using GPS to update site information
are two examples of supported data collection. Collection
of routine water-level or water-quality data is not
allowed at this time.
Routine data collection can be used as
in-kind services match.
Can funding go to Universities to
participate as a data provider?
If a state agency that collects
groundwater data is under the University, then it is
allowed. State Geological Surveys are sometimes organized
this way. Otherwise, Universities cannot receive funding
under this Program. They can, however, still participate
as a data provider.
Why are federal agencies, such as
USEPA, ineligible for this funding?
Federal agencies can be data providers
but are not eligible for funding because the legislation
specifically targets state and local water resource
agencies. Connections to the USGS NWIS and EPA STORET
databases to the Portal are already
Are local water-resources associations
or watershed associations eligible for funding?
Yes, if they are collecting data and
storing it in an accessible database they would be
Do projects need to be teamed with a local USGS
Working with local
USGS Water Science Centers is encouraged, but not required.
We want the wells from NGWMN data providers and the USGS
Centers to mesh together to create a good regional
Are agencies who work with a local USGS WSC on a
data collection project using Cooperative Matching Funds
considered to be a data provider?
Yes since these agencies
are providing funding to support the data collection, they
are considered data providers. However, since the data is
provided by USGS, these agencies are not eligible to apply
for work under objectives 1 or 2. They can apply for work
within objectives 3, 4, or 5. As described in the Program
Announcement, these agencies need to include a letter of
support from the local USGS WSC with their project
Are federally recognized tribes eligible?
Unfortunately, no. The
authorizing legislation specifically targeted state or
local agencies. We are trying to get this changed.
in the Network
Are you interested in including
inactive wells in the network or do you only want wells
that are sampled/measured currently or in a future
We only want active wells for the
network. Wells that are planned to be sampled within the
next 5 years or have water- levels measured within the
next 3 years could fit in a Surveillance network.
Can public supply wells be used for
the water-quality network?
Yes, Monitoring or unused wells are
preferred, but Public supply wells are allowable. As for
all other wells, a precise well location is required. If
this cannot be supplied, the wells are not appropriate
for the NGWMN.
We have older wells that need to be
replaced. Could the current cooperative funding
opportunity help with this?
Yes, drilling replacement wells is
allowed under objective 5.
How often do water-level monitoring
sites need to be tested for water quality, if at
Water-level network sites do not
necessarily ever need to be sampled.
Do you have a preference if
water-level and water-quality data are coming from the
same well or are they considered independently?
They are generally separate networks.
You could have a WL network and a WQ network that had
wells that were completely different or some that
overlap. The water-level and water-quality data could
come from different agencies.
The USGS collects a lot of data in our
state. Will we need to select data and wells that
complement USGS data or should we classify and
prioritize sites without regard to USGS data and
The data from various agencies will all
be combined to form a single network regardless of
its’ source. State data providers are encouraged to
work with the local USGS office when selecting wells for
the network. We would not want to have two wells at
essentially the same location just because one is
measured by the USGS and one by a state agency. We want
the best well available at a location, regardless of the
Can wells be offset 1 mile or do you need the exact
No, wells cannot be offset.
We want the exact location. If you cannot do that, then
that would be a reason not to include the well. This
is a reason some providers do not want to use public supply
Would wells in areas of known nitrate contamination be
suitable for this network?
Yes. Could help delineate
usable areas of the aquifer. Would be classified as
‘Documented Changes’ in the network
Can the well registry be populated in batch mode?
Yes, there is
information on the Well Registry Management System about
this. A template spreadsheet is available and can be
populated offline and then loaded into the Well Registry.
This is only available for entry of new sites and cannot be
used to make updates to sitee.
What are the requirements of measuring equipment such
as tapes, pressure transducers, or data loggers?
Data collection guidelines
are described in the Framework Document. No particular
requirements are specified for equipment types.
Can springs be used in addition to wells?
Yes, springs can be
included in the network. We currently serve water-quality
data from springs.
For new data providers: What information is needed in
proposal regarding existing wells presently being
monitored besides location and aquifer (e.g. well
construction logs, hydrographs or period of record for
existing data, monitoring & telemetry equipment
presently used, etc.)?
Don’t need all of
that detail. At this point we really need the number of
potential wells and an idea of how many might be suitable
for the network. You will be selecting the wells for the
network, not us. You don’t need a table of detailed
If I am a new data provider, can I apply for other
objectives such a wells maintenance or well drilling?
If your proposal has you
completing the new data provider objective in year one of
your project, you can apply for either objective 2 or 3 in
year two of your project. Objectives 4 and 5 cannot be part
of a new data provider project.
What is needed for the Data Management Plan?
Can be a maximum of 2
There are 5 required
access and sharing
provisions for re-use, re-distribution
archiving and preservation of access
Can you provide examples of Data Management
Yes, I can provide two
examples. Neither are existing Data management Plans for
the Network, but give an idea of what they could look
Do I need a letter of
concurrence from the local USGS WSC?
If you are partnering with the local WSC on a
Cooperative Matching Funds project where the USGS
collects data and stores it in NWIS and are proposing
work on objectives 3-5 as a data provider, you do need a
letter of concurrence from the local WSC. They will
likely need to do updates to their database as part of
your work and we want them to be aware of your planned
If you are collecting the data yourself, entering it
into your own database, and making it available to the
portal through web services, you do not need a letter of
Why are three different budgets needed in the
The budget table in the
SF-424A form is needed for Grants.gov. We also need
additional data on the entire project and each objective to
make funding decisions. This data is not available in the
SF-424A budget table.
Are the spreadsheets used to make the example budgets
Yes, you can get
Can data-collection efforts be used as
matching in-kind services?
Yes, data collection at NGWMN that
is conducted during the performance period of the project
can be used as in-kind services. You will need to list
the work in the budget for the objective you are applying
for under the agency in-kind services.
In lieu of costs, can we use hours devoted to the
field work/data entry and data QC if the work is done in
house as part of the budget?
Yes you could use this as
in-kind services, but we would like to see it specified as
a cost not just as hours.
Can state agencies demonstrate in-kind
services by funding contractors to the amount matched
Yes, if the work that the contractor
would be doing matches the objectives of the NGWMN
Program Announcement. The work would need to be included
in detail in the detailed budget for the
Can analytical costs for water quality samples count
Yes, if the analysis occurs
during the performance period of the project.
We are not ready to join the Network
at this time (for a variety of reasons). Will funding
be available in future years to add new data