Over the years, water well information has been collected by different state and federal agencies for a variety of purposes. Before the adoption of the Groundwater Act of 1973 (Chapter 3.4 of Title 62.1, Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors), collection and submission of water well reports was largely a voluntary effort. Agencies such as Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, Virginia Division of Water Resources, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia State Water Control Board (SWCB) and the U.S. Geological Survey had their own versions of water well reports and collected them for different purposes.
One of DEQ’s goals is to merge the various sources of historical and new well information into one statewide database that can be used for regional analysis of groundwater aquifer systems. Major challenges to this goal are that fact that each database has its own numbering or indexing system. Duplicate wells exist in the various databases. Duplicate wells may or may not reference the other numbering systems of the different databases. The various databases have varying degrees of location accuracy as some were obtained from topographic quads and others were obtained using global positioning systems. Efforts to sort, clean up, and merge this data are ongoing.
An effort is underway by the Virginia Water Well Association and a firm called Groundwater Dynamics to distribute electronic groundwater well completion software called “Aquiport” to drillers around the state. DEQ and VDH are supportive of electronic submittal of WWCRs and are encouraging the distribution of this software to drillers and local governments.