Performance of novel shallow wells in agricultural landscapes
Hydrologic and hydraulic performance of novel shallow wells in agricultural landscapes
Sponsor: Maine Water Resources Research Institute 2023 (104b)
Institution: University of Maine
This project will leverage stakeholder engagement and participation to address water access in agricultural settings, of great importance to the state of Maine as climate change-driven droughts become more frequent and severe.
The overarching goal of this project is to assess novel shallow well performance in an agroecological context. Specifically, the team will investigate how the novel shallow well performs over a range of hydrologic conditions (such as seasonal high and low water table positions). This will allow the team to characterize the value of novel shallow wells in the context of agricultural water management in the northeast. The team aims to evaluate the biophysical performance of shallow wells for agriculture (i.e., microbial and chemical safety, recharge rates and volume), in varied climatic conditions (i.e., drought of various degrees of intensity and duration), for varied uses (i.e., livestock watering, irrigation, others). To meet this goal, researchers will complete the following objectives:
- Evaluate the hydrological performance of novel shallow wells (i.e. the well’s ability to meet agricultural users’ needs), including response to pumping in years characterized by different degrees of drought;
- Evaluate the water quality and safety of shallow wells.
This work builds upon past research funded by the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station (MAFES), with in kind support from the USGS New England Water Science Center and the Environmental Protection Agency. Two wells have already been installed and are actively being monitored. This proposal would fund a third well to expand current research, and deepen the team’s engagement with agricultural stakeholders and students.
Team Leader: Rachel Schattman, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, University of Maine
- Joseph Ayotte, Hydrologist, USGS New England Water Science Center
- Marcel Belaval, Deputy Director, USGS New England Water Science Center