frequently asked questions
about the data
What is an "unconfined" aquifer?
Aquifers in which the surface extent or outcrop of the aquifer, or area in which the host rock formation is exposed at the land surface, are considered unconfined. That portion of an aquifer that is exposed at the surface but that may be dipping and also present below other formations is considered the unconfined portion of the aquifer. These are also referred to as "water- table aqfuiers" because the water table is at or near atmospheric pressure and is the upper boundary of the aquifer. Water levels in wells completed in unconfined aquifers rise and fall in response to changes in recharge (primarily rain) and discharge (through either arificial means such as pumping or flowing wells, or through natural means such as springs and leakage between formations).
What is a "confined" aquifer?
Aquifers that dip below the surface, or that portion of an aquifer that is dipping below the surface in part of its extent, and that are covered by other, less permeable, formations known as aquitards or aquicludes, are under pressure of the confining rocks. These are sometimes referred to as "artesian aquifers" and typically occur well below the land surface. Water in wells penetrating confined aquifers rise above the top of the aquifer rock formation because of this pressure. In some cases, water levels may rise above the land surface, resulting in a flowing well.
What does Entity/Cooperator mean?
Most recorder well equipment are purchased and maintained by the Texas Water Development Board. Recently, other entities, such as groundwater conservation districts (GCDs), have purchased and/or maintained recorder equipment. This column identifies the owner of the equipment or entity responsible for maintaining the equipment.
Why are some active wells not showing a recent water level measurement?
If the 'Data Transmission' field displays Data Card, the well does
not have a transmitter and antenna installed; therefore, does not
send measurements through the Geostationary Operational Environmental
Satellite (GOES satellite) system. The data are manually retrieved
from the well and uploaded to this system periodically.
If the 'Data Transmission' field displays Satellite, the recorder equipment is malfunctioning and is in need of repair.