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Information gaps and science needs for groundwater science in the Great Lakes Basin

Traditionally, groundwater science in the Great Lakes Basin was focused on finding and protecting drinking water for inland communities, private supplies, and irrigation. In the last several decades, however, a larger scientific effort has been devoted to understanding the role of
groundwater as part of the overall water budget and ecosystems in the Great Lakes Basin. Annex 8 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is focused on the groundwater resources of the Basin and how they affect the quality of water in the Great Lakes. As part of a binational commitment of the
Agreement, a team of about 30 geoscientists prepared a report that outlines the status of groundwater science relevant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The report identifies major groundwater information gaps and science needs that are summarized as the following major areas:
1: Advance assessment of regional-scale groundwater discharge (quantity) to surface water in the Basin.
2: Establish science-based priorities to advance the assessment of the geographic distribution of known and potential sources of groundwater contaminants relevant to Great Lakes water quality, and the efficacy of mitigation efforts.
3: Advance monitoring and surveillance of groundwater quality in the Great Lakes Basin.
4: Advance research on local-scale assessment of interaction between groundwater and surface water.
5: Develop better tools for monitoring, surveillance and local-scale assessment of groundwater - surface water interaction.
6: Advance research on the role of groundwater in aquatic habitats.
7: Develop scaled-up models of the regional effects of groundwater on Great Lakes water quality.
A review of these seven science needs will be discussed as they relate to regional-scale groundwater studies.

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The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.