America has launched a new era of increased coordination and collection of groundwater data to better inform decision-making by water resource managers, the National Ground Water Association announced.

The U.S. Geological Survey is inviting applications for up to $2 million in cost-share grants, or cooperative agreements, to support participation in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN) in 2016. Interested agencies may apply online at GRANTS.GOV under funding opportunity number G16AS00008. Applications will be accepted through January 19, 2016.

The money allows USGS to provide funds to upgrade nonfederal monitoring networks to national standards and to incorporate wells into the network. The funding also will support additional work by USGS to manage the network and provide data access to the public through an Internet web portal.

The network will rely on states to collect and report monitoring data. This data will be used to generate a more comprehensive picture of groundwater on a national scale. With increased pressure on water resources, particularly in the West, the implementation of the NGWMN will help inform good management of groundwater supplies across the country. This is important to the continued use of water wells as a source of safe drinking water for millions of Americans who rely on both public water systems and privately owned household wells.

The USGS is working with the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information’s Subcommittee on Ground Water to develop and administer the NGWMN. The NGWMN was established with strong support from NGWA and other organizations.

A webinar is scheduled to review the application package and answer any question about the opportunity. You may register for it at: