Groundwater Sustainability of the Long Island Aquifer System

In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a partnership between New York State, USGS, Nassau County and Suffolk County to study the effective management of Long Island’s groundwater resources. The communities of Nassau and Suffolk Counties get their water solely from groundwater that is pumped from Sole-Source aquifers (subsurface sands and gravels that store and transmit water). The quantity and quality of groundwater can be affected by natural processes such as drought, or human activities such as groundwater pumping and urbanization. Decreases in groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion, and groundwater contamination have led to concerns about the future availability of groundwater on Long Island. Groundwater sustainability can be defined as the development and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained for indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences. Informed management of the Long Island aquifer system can help ensure a regionally sustainable groundwater resource. This study will evaluate the sustainability of Long Island’s groundwater resource, now and for the future, by geologic mapping, water-quality and water-level monitoring, and groundwater-flow modeling this critical aquifer system.

Additional Sources of Hydrogeologic Information for the Long Island Aquifer System