Pete Chase, a geotechnician at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, spends a lot of his time in the field. He has to because he is a primary caretaker of the statewide groundwater monitoring well network.
Together WGNHS and the US Geological Survey have funded the network since 1946. It consists of nearly 140 wells in 66 counties, and it provides information over a long time period.
“Without the statewide groundwater monitoring network, we would not be able to accurately analyze the impact of drought on groundwater, or see the effects of pumping, or determine if we can see a response to climate change,” Chase said. “And, two-thirds of Wisconsinites use groundwater for their water supply.”
The groundwater monitoring network provides a reliable, long-term record of water levels in deep and shallow aquifers across the state. Survey scientists collect and interpret this data so their public and private clients can use it.
According to Chase, accurate, long-term data is fundamental to a good understanding of our groundwater. He believes the Survey’s groundwater work is critical to the prosperity of the state. Gathering the water level data that is central to the groundwater work is an important and rewarding part of his job.