Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.83
Liaison Mary Beth McGrew
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Cincinnati
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
The University has just completed the construction of the Great Miami Ground Water Observatory

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Great Miami Ground Water Observatory ( GMGWO ) project integrates the academic and research mission of the University of Cincinnati's College of Arts and Sciences, and its University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, along with its multiple disciplines ( Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, and Anthropology ) into a data collection and dissemination initiative that responds to the conservation, protection, monitoring, and management of the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer System ( GMBVAS). The scope of this project engaged an agricultural, industrial, and residential cross section of nearly 2,700,000 people in southwest Ohio, including Dayton and residents of the northern edge of Greater Cincinnati. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has designated the GMBVAS as a sole source aquifer....." an aquifer that supplies at least 50% of the drinking water consumed in an area overlying the aquifer. These areas may have no alternative drinking water source(s) that could physically, legally, and economically supply all those dependent on the aquifer for drinking water" The physical location for the GMGWO is in a flood plain on property owned by Great Parks of Hamilton County, within the Miami Whitewater Forest, immediately adjacent to the Great Miami River near its confluence with the Ohio River. In order to construct the monitoring wells and data collection tower, a long term lease agreement between the University of Cincinnati and the Great Parks of Hamilton County was drafted. The objective of the GMGWO is to provide timely quantitative and qualitative information on the dynamic flow of ground water between the Great Miami River ( part of the National Water Trail System), and its adjoining alluvial aquifer. The collected data will be stored and distributed from a server located at the University of Cincinnati. The site sill provide an in situ ground water research location for undergraduate and graduate students at area colleges and universities, as well as relevant information for water managers and water scientists, public water suppliers, and municipal, regional, state and federal water regulators. In addition, the GMGWO , was the central component of the Great Miami Observatory Network will provide real time data on ground water flow direction, velocity, temperature, and conductance; collect baseline data for assessing long-term impact of change in resource management, land-use, waste water treatment, climate and contaminant movement; provide a secure and controlled site for chemical sensor development and testing; provide a site for high school and undergraduate groundwater education and training; provide a protected and stable site for graduate research in ground water; provide a site for federal, state and local agencies to monitor the health and protect the safety of water in the GMBVAS; provide a site at which companies developing ground-water monitoring, testing , or remediation equipment may field test their products; build understanding that the surface and ground water in the Great Miami basin are two parts of a single, interconnected system, changes in the quality of one will inevitably lead to changes in the other. When constructed, the project's components, and the data being collected, stored and distributed, will represent an unprecedented model for monitoring water quality. The observatory just constructed is only the second of its kind in the country, the other is located in Colorado and was constructed over 20 years ago. The pre-construction analysis included a geological and hydro-geological assessment of the area adjacent to, and underneath the river; a geographical survey of the area to determine topographic and existing physical conditions, constraints and influences; a silvicultural investigation of the existing plant composition to determine the least intrusive pathway for the construction of 3 monitoring wells, a pumping well, and the installation of a 50' steel I-beam set at a height above the 100 year flood level, to provide data collection equipment and a solar panel for power; a zoological exploration to determine influences to and by animal populations ( most notably endangered species and birds; a structural engineering assessment and recommendation to determine the material selection and depth of placement and subsequent stability for the I-beam that will contain the equipment for the observatory's monitoring system.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Research
Grounds
Water

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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