Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Updates to GTS_Aquifer Layer

The ND GIS Hub has a variety of hydrography layers, some for very specific purposes.  The GTS_Aquifers layer is one such specific layer. The GTS_Aquifer layer is created and used by scientists at the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) to prioritize aquifer monitoring efforts in the Groundwater Protection Program. To avoid confusion, previous versions of the GTS_Aquifer layer from 1997 and 2019 will be archived in the coming weeks. After March 31, 2022, only the most recent version, GTS_Aquifers (without the year designation in the name), will be available on the hub data portal and for download. Future updates will be incorporated into that layer and not a separate layer.   

Scientists at the NDDEQ first conducted the North Dakota Geographic Targeting System for Groundwater Monitoring (GTS) in 1997 as a method of assigning monitoring priority to shallow aquifers. In 2015, NDDEQ scientists updated the aquifer priority listing in response to changing aquifer boundaries, land use, and groundwater appropriation from the state’s aquifers. The analysis was complete and first published in 2018. NDDEQ scientists published an additional update to address water levels in confined aquifers in October 2019 and placed the layer on the NDGIS Hub as “GTS_Aquifers_2019” layer. 

In January 2021, 68 new aquifers were analyzed using the GTS methodology and are also included in the GTS_Aquifer layer. Four previously existing aquifers were updated and all aquifer boundaries updated to match North Dakota Water Resources Department aquifer delineations and names as of January 2021.  Description of method used is available in the "2021 GTS Addendum" report.  The 2019 Geographic Targeting System Report is also available online here

If you have any questions about NDDEQ's data or maps, visit our website or contact Ann Fritz at  For more information about NDDEQ's Groundwater Protection Program, contact Carl Anderson at  

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