Groundwater is an important water supply for meeting municipal, industrial, and agricultural water demands and for supporting riparian and other ecological systems in the United States (U.S.). Effective groundwater governance is therefore crucial to the wise use of this largely non-renewable resource (recharge rates are slower than extraction rates). While minimum, federally-established drinking-water quality and water-discharge regulations do exist, the framework of the laws and regulations governing groundwater use in this country is highly decentralized.
The interconnectivities of groundwater to food, energy, and the climate are addressed to various degrees at the state level. Groundwater governance in the United States is decentralized, resulting in considerable variations in state practices. This article, published in Jurimetrics and written by Sharon B. Megdal and Jacob Petersen-Perlman, reports on two state-level surveys and three regional case studies conducted to better understand groundwater governance strategies and practices. The article also relates the results of these research efforts to food, energy, and climate.
The WRRC is calling for research proposals from students for its 104b grants program. The program, authorized under the Water Resources Research Act, Section 104(b) and funded through the U.S. Geological Survey, promotes the entry of new research scientists, engineers and technicians in the water resources field and education of students through significant involvement in water research.
Groundwater, the "invisible water," is difficult to assess, manage and govern for many reasons, mostly due to the unknown quantities of the resource. Political boundaries dividing groundwater aquifers make assessment even more challenging. This article focuses on lessons learned from the hydrologic assessment of the Transboundary San Pedro and Santa Cruz aqufiers. The authors conducted the work in two phases: (1) laying the groundwork and (2) implementation.
Groundwater governance and management practices vary considerably across the United States. To better understand groundwater governance strategies and practices connected to water quality in the United States, a team from the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center designed and launched a nationwide survey in 2016. The goal of the project was to identify on-the-ground practices of groundwater governance that may help to improve and enhance management of the nation’s water supplies, particularly within the realm of groundwater quality.
Many consider gravity-flow irrigation inefficient and deride its use. Yet, there are cases where gravity-flow irrigation can play an important role in highly productive and profitable agriculture. This perspective article reviews the literature on the profitability and efficiency of gravity systems. It then reviews the history of water management in Yuma, Arizona, which is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States.