This website is a product of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Water Science and Conservation group and is made possible by the support of management and staff at TWDB. This project is part of our ongoing efforts to synthesize and communicate water-related data to scientists, policy makers and the public.
This website is built with the help of many open source tools and technologies. We'd like to acknowledge the contributions of the following projects:
Water Level Recorder Program
The TWDB, in partnership with its cooperators, continues to install and monitor automatic water level recorders in observation wells throughout the state. An automatic groundwater level recorder well, or recorder well, refers to an unused water well installed with water level recording equipment (a recorder) and a datalogger.
An automated groundwater recorder system is composed of six basic parts.
1) The sensor obtains the actual water level measurement. An optical sensor (or encoder — a measurement device that converts mechanical motion into electronic signals) uses a float and pulley system to obtain measurements, while a pressure sensor uses water pressure changes to get the data. Typically, older recorders use encoders, and newer ones are outfitted with pressure sensors/transducers.
2) The logger (or data logger) receives the data from the sensor and stores the measurements. This is the main unit that controls the system.
3) The transmitter receives data from the logger at scheduled intervals and transmits the information to a receiving site. TWDB recorders use the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES satellite) system to relay data, although some groundwater conservation district (GCD) programs use cell phone networks.
4) The antenna sends the signal to the GOES satellite.
5) The power supply generally consists of an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery that is recharged with a solar panel.
6) The shelter protects the recorder from weather, animals, and most human-caused damage.
History of Water Level Recorder Wells in Texas
The oldest water levels from a continuous water level recorder well are from state well number 6837203 (J17) in Bexar County. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began collecting daily water levels in 1932. The Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) continues to collect daily water levels from this well.
Recently, as the number of recorders has increased, resulting in a greater coverage of major and minor aquifers in the state, the TWDB now produces a summary of yearly conditions in technical notes.
Timeline for TWDB Recorder Program
1960 - 1992: started program using analog chart recorders.
1992 - 2000: began conversion to digital recording equipment, using memory cards to store data.
2000 - 2005: added cellular phone telemetry to send data and started posting data on the web.
2005 - present: converted all wells to satellite telemetry and added pressure transducers to collect temperature.
As a convenience to the public, this website also retrieves and displays well data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA). All data displayed for these wells are maintained by USGS and EAA respectively.