Sep 13, 2006

NGWREF Awards First-Ever Grants

The National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation has awarded three grants totaling $14,000 for projects exploring MTBE, the use of nonoscale iron in remediation, and the sustainability of ground water resources.

These grants, the first ever from the Foundation's Research Fund, were made following a blind review by a panel of evaluators selected from the membership of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

The following projects were funded:

  • MTBE: Will It Ever Disappear? Lead researcher: John M. Peckenham, University of Maine, Orono.
    This proposal will provide measurements to determine the lag between changing fuel composition and the disappearance of MTBE from ground water. It will examine the spatial distribution and persistence of MTBE in a setting with a well-documented MTBE contamination in ground water. This project is a continuation of a collaborative effort between the University of Maine, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection.
  • Nanoscale Iron for the Remediation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Source Zones. Lead researcher, Gwynn R. Johnson, Ph.D., Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
    The presence of nonaqueous phase liquids in the subsurface environment is recognized as a significant, long-term threat to ground water resources. With the application of traditional pump and treat remediation requiring years and even decades of pumping, alternative remediation schemes are necessary to protect this vital resource. The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility and risk of employing nanoscale iron particles for the reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated solvents, with a specific focus on nonaqueous phase liquid remediation in a two-dimensional, laboratory-based flow cell.
  • Assessment of Ground Water Age and Rate of Recharge Using Environmental Tracers. Lead researcher: Kurt C. Koella, Lakeshore Environmental Inc., Grand Haven, Michigan.
    This research will address sustainability of ground water resources. Ground water use and diversion is a politically sensitive issue in the Great Lakes Basin, as illustrated by the December 13, 2005, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact agreement to prohibit new or increased diversions within the basin. Assessing ground water age and rate of recharge will enhance understanding of the impact of withdrawal on a local ground water system.

Established in 1994, the NGWREF is operated by NGWA as a 501(c)(3) public foundation and is focused on conducting educational, research, and other charitable activities related to a broader public understanding of ground water.