[Click here to access repository: Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resource Center (HGGRC)]
In the past, several disconnected repositories existed for groundwater- or geothermal-relevant documents in Hawai‘i. Lautze and Thomas noticed significant public interest in several projects, and realized the need to centralize these datasets along with historical photographs, slides and newspaper articles.
For example, now available through the HGGRC, the Geothermal Collection contains more than 1,000 geothermal-relevant documents. Hosted by the University of Hawai‘i repositories ScholarSpace and eVols, this collection has had approximately 100,000 document downloads since its creation three years ago.
In addition, daily updates will be available from HGGRC when the Humu’ulu Groundwater Research project commences drilling of a second 2 km deep hole in the saddle region of the island of Hawaiʻi. The second drilling effort will enhance understanding of the groundwater resources available there.
The Hawai‘i State Water Wells database shows data for the water wells in Hawai‘i (e.g. name, location, type, and depth) via an interactive map, with downloadable water well files. Previously, the only way to view this information was through physical files in a Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) office. Roy Hardy, Acting Deputy Director of DLNR’s Commission on Water Resource Management, emphasized that they are “thankful that the historical paper copies of data and information have now been digitized.”
As part of the Department of Energy “Play Fairway” project, researchers at the HGGRC continue to compile all data relevant to geothermal across the entire state of Hawai‘i into a probability map, which will indicate the likelihood of encountering a subsurface resource. This will provide the first updated resource assessment since the late 1970s, which found a potential resource on all islands.
While recognizing that discussions about developing groundwater and geothermal resources can be contentious, Lautze emphasized that the goal of HGGRC is information gathering. “In bringing together this wealth of information, we hope to facilitate innovative research on Hawai‘i’s groundwater and renewable energy resources,” she said. “Ideally, with sound knowledge in hand, scientists, resource managers, potential developers, policymakers, and the public will have the necessary information to protect and optimally utilize Hawai‘i’s natural resources and to plan for a sustainable future.”