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Attention PA Water Utilities: Assistance has been requested with a national economic benefit cost assessment that state geological surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey are conducting for geological mapping

Attention PA Water Utilities:  Assistance has been requested with a national economic benefit cost assessment that state geological surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey are conducting for geological mapping

Dick Berg of the Illinois State Geological Survey, contacted PA-AWWA regarding assistance on a national economic benefit cost assessment that state geological surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey are conducting for geological mapping. This assessment is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted for the discipline of geology. It comes at a time when (1) water supplies, contamination, and associated human livelihood are strongly linked, (2) significant improvements to infrastructure have long been touted at the Federal, State, and local levels, and now more than ever are required for economic recovery, and (3) understanding geologic hazards (e.g., flooding, sinkholes, earthquakes) are increasingly important due to population growth and existing/expanding infrastructure.

The assessment is in the form of an online SurveyGizmo questionnaire – https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5772757/e216571551c0, that we are distributing nationally to 10s of 1000s of stakeholders and beneficiaries of geological information, with the intent to justify the value of this activity by geological surveys. Particularly important is how the information is an essential underpinning of water-resource evaluations, and their protection from natural and human-induced contamination, and also attaining the often delicate balance between economic development and resource-based land-and water-use. Questions were developed by an economist, and a team of advisors from several State Geological Surveys. Most basically it asks, “what is the value of this information and how much are you willing to pay for it”, but also askes several qualitative questions, most significantly, “what are your priorities, and how can we better serve your industry?”

The larger the response rate, the more significant are the results, and its eventual outcome for helping to justify this most basic of geologic endeavors. We ask that as many questions as possible on the survey. be answered. If the questionnaire cannot be filled out in one sitting, a button in the upper right, titled “Save and continue later”, asks for your email address, and will send you a message with a link directing you to where you left off.

The online survey should be completed January 2, 2021, but the sooner the better as we will be receiving thousands from all across the U.S.   In additional to a national report, we also plan on preparing benefit cost analyses for each State, so PA can benefit from that as well.   

FYI, if you’d like to see two statewide examples of cost and benefit studies of geological mapping, see the links below.  However, this national survey will be more comprehensive than these previous reports.

Nevada – http://data.nbmg.unr.edu/public/freedownloads/sp/sp038.zip

Kentucky – http://library.isgs.illinois.edu/Pubs/pdfs/specialreports/sp-03.pdf

 

Thanks again. We really appreciate the help.

 

Dick Berg, Director

Illinois State Geological Survey

Illinois State Geologist

217 493-8842

 

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