Skip to main content

Balancing Well Water Supplies to Mitigate Drought Impacts

American Institute of Professional Geologists
  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

  3. Estimated Effort

    1 hour
  4. Classes End

Communities that rely on surface water resources via sand and gravel wells are vulnerable to the impacts of drought on water supplies. In 2020, much of New England experienced an extreme drought due to lack of sufficient precipitation from May through September, which resulted in water restrictions across Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island.1 Communities that have both bedrock wells and sand and gravel wells are more resilient during drought because they are able to switch between surface water and groundwater resources as needed in order to mitigate water resource limitations. However, switching between water supply sources comes with its own share of issues that need to be considered.

This course provides an in-depth look at how municipalities have mitigated water shortages by balancing the use of bedrock wells and sand and gravel wells. It delves into the potential issues that must be considered when having to switch between groundwater and surface water supplies, including pH, precipitation, and other issues. This course is designed for those involved with well infrastructure, planning and policy decision making, but will be of interest to a wide array of stakeholders.

Course Objectives

Students are expected to learn the following when they take this course:

  • Differences between types of aquifers and well types and why each is used
  • When and how to use overburden and bedrock wells to manage water resources
  • What to look for in order to understand the dynamics of overburden and bedrock wells

Course Format

This is an asynchronous short-course that contains videos, resources for learning more, and a set of questions in each section to help facilitate learning. An asynchronous course is a course that can be done on your own time. Feel free to pause, take a break, and come back to your saved progress to continue with the course. There is no deadline for completion of this course.

Note: For tips on taking this course via the edX mobile app, please visit the edX Learner’s Guide, and read the section on using the edX mobile app for the most up-to-date information.

Obtaining Continuing Education Units

If your course grade is at least 70%, you may apply for 0.1 CEU credit. There is an administrative fee for the issuance of the CEU, and you can view the fee structure here. You can check your final grade by clicking on the Progress menu item in the course navigation menu at the top of the page.


There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Course Staff

American Geosciences Institute staff serve as the facilitators for this course. If you have questions at any time during this course, you can email your questions to

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

How do I take the course using the edX mobile app?

For tips on taking the course via the edX mobile app, please visit the edX Learner’s Guide, and read the section on using the edX mobile app for the most up-to-date information.

Do I have to take this course all at one time to pass it?

No, in fact that's the advantage of offering asynchronous online courses. You can go through the course at your own pace, pause when you wish, save your progress, and resume the course when it’s convenient for you to do so.

Do I have to pay a registration fee for the course?

There is no registration fee for the course. You may view the entire course, and complete all the assessments, assignments, and exams at no cost.

Are Continuing Education Units available for this course?

If you would like to receive credit for the course and obtain CEUs, you will need to pass the course with a minimum of a 70%, fill out a form to register for the CEUs, and pay an administrative fee. The administrative fee for CEUs varies for each course. Please see the details in the “How to Obtain CEUs” section at the end of the course.