Challenges and Opportunities for Resilient Groundwater Management
Dr. Nicholas Brozovic, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
November 1, 2013
The links between groundwater, rural economies, streams and instream ecosystems have been the subject of extended litigation, media coverage, and academic and government study. Common themes include alarm over long-term groundwater depletion and drought-driven annual drawdowns, the impending transition from irrigated to dryland agriculture, and damages to surface water resources and groundwater-dependent ecosystems species from surface water-groundwater interaction. In response to concerns about water use, there has been localized, rapid innovation in groundwater management institutions. In the United States, changes have generally occurred as a result of either legal impositions on water management districts or a desire to preserve a rural way of life for future generations. For example, quantification, metering, and enforcement of groundwater pumping rights have been established in a few water districts in the United States, as well as elsewhere in the world. Nascent groundwater pumping permit markets are emerging, and voluntary reductions in agricultural groundwater pumping and major changes to water rights systems have been implemented. This seminar will discuss current challenges and opportunities – both theoretical and applied – for the analysis, development, and implementation of effective and robust groundwater management.
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