Queen Anne's County Observation-Well Network
The Queen Anne's County water-level network is one of five observation-well networks maintained by MGS and funded through cooperative agreements with Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Queen Anne’s, and St. Mary’s counties.
The primary objective of these networks is to monitor the effects of water-supply withdrawals on groundwater levels at both a local (well field) and regional scale. More specifically the water-level data are used to help assess (1) long-term sustainability of the water supply; (2) well interference (drawdown at each well in a multiple-well system added to drawdowns at the other wells); (3) potential for increased development of the aquifers; (4) potential for salt-water intrusion, where applicable; and (5) the role of ground-water extraction in land subsidence.
The Queen Anne's County observation-well network is currently funded through a cooperative agreement between Maryland Geological Survey and Queen Anne's County Department of Public Works. The network consists of 27 wells located mainly in the western (Kent Island) portion of the County. Aquifers monitored include the Surficial (Columbia) (2 wells), Aquia (17 wells), Magothy (1 well), Upper Patapsco (3 wells), Lower Patapsco (3 wells), and Patuxent (1 well). Frequency of measurement ranges from 12 times a year to semiannual (spring and fall).
Current Water Level Trends
Water levels were measured in two wells in this aquifer (Barclay and Grasonville). Water levels fluctuate seasonally up to approximately seven feet. The most recent water levels range from about 66 ft above sea level at Barclay (QA Cg 69) to 18 ft above sea level at Grasonville (QA Ec 1). Water level trends are increasing slightly at Barclay and relatively flat at Grasonville.
Water levels were measured in seventeen wells in the Aquia aquifer, thirteen of which are located on Kent Island. Most wells show less than 2 feet of seasonal variation, with the lower water levels recorded in late summer and higher water levels in spring. The most recent water levels range from about 17 ft above sea level at Kingstown (QA Be 17) to 7 ft below sea level at Centreville (QA De 27). Water levels at Centreville fluctuate by as much as 22 feet seasonally likely as a result of regional irrigation withdrawals. Long terms are stable or show a slight rise in water levels.
Water levels were measured in one well in the Magothy aquifer (Natural Resources Academy in Matapeake [QA Ea 27]). The most recent water level was 21 ft below sea level. Prior to 2014, water levels declined at the rate of about 1 ft per year (ft/yr). Since then water levels have begun to stabilize.
Upper Patapsco aquifer
Water levels were measured in three wells completed in this aquifer. The most recent water levels range from about 19 ft below sea level at Kingstown (QA Be 16) to about 24 ft below sea level at Tuckahoe State Park (QA Ef 29). All three show fairly steady water-level declines of about 1 ft/yr over the past 10 years, likely reflecting regional pumping effects in Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Talbot (Easton) counties.
Lower Patapsco aquifer
Water levels were measured in three wells completed in this aquifer. The most recent water levels range from 7 ft below sea level at Kingstown (QA Be 15) to about 35 ft below sea level at Stevensville (QA Eb 182). Two of the wells, located at Kingstown (QA Be 15) and Chester (QA Eb 112) show fairly steady water-level declines of 1 ft/yr over the couple decades. Most recently, water level decline in QA Eb 112 appears to be slowing. The water level trend at Stevensville (QA Eb 182) is relatively flat, however, the well is likely affected by local withdrawals making an assessment of trends difficult.
Water levels were measured in one well in the Patuxent aquifer at Chester (QA Eb 110). The most recent water level was about 11 ft below sea level. The water level in this well had been declining steadily (~0.4 ft/yr) between about 1988 and 2012. Beginning in 2012, water levels decline 1.25 ft/yr, likely as a result of withdrawals from the Arnold well field in Anne Arundel County, located 12 miles to the west.