RESTON, Va. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Groundwater Resources Program has released its newly-completed conceptual model for the uppermost principal aquifer systems of the Williston Basin, a sedimentary basin that spans across a large section of northern/central parts of the U.S. and Canada, according to a press release.

The program studies major aquifers nationwide and developed a water budget on the Williston Basin in an effort to understand its groundwater flow, stated the release.

The Williston Basin includes both shallow glacial and bedrock aquifer formations, which have limited groundwater resources with little to no recharge time — only 11 to 15 percent of precipitation, and almost all of the resources are discharged to local streams or rivers, with some additionally used for irrigation and public supply, reported the release.

Water from the aquifers is the only source of drinking water for various people in the area, but recently large quantities of the area’s potable water has been used in energy resource gathering, continued the release.

Additional groundwater studies are examining whether these energy resource gathering practices, such as fracturing, are having a negative effect on the area.

You can find the entire release click here.