Sustainable Groundwater

Throughout the West, groundwater pumping occurs at unsustainable levels. This practice jeopardizes the primary water supply for many communities, industries and the environment. It also dramatically decreases communities’ resiliency during dry times when groundwater serves as a critical buffer against surface water shortages. Water in the West facilitates interdisciplinary research in law and policy, geophysics, engineering, economics and ecosystem science to identify and develop solutions for more effective groundwater management and policy. We develop new tools to better understand groundwater resources; identify ways to resolve water allocation disputes; and find legal, regulatory and policy pathways to successful implementation of groundwater legislation.

What's New

August 07, 2017

Leon Szeptycki, executive director of Stanford’s Water in the West program, discusses the challenges and responses to managing water in a changing climate.

April 26, 2017

A case study of San Mateo County's effort to be transparent & proactive in assessing its groundwater basin.

In Focus

Groundwater Data Workshop Series

Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and The Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, in conjunction with the California State University Sacramento’s Center for Collaborative Policy are hosting a four-part Groundwater Data Workshop Series.

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Understanding Groundwater

Our series explores groundwater management in California through new research into key groundwater issues, interactive graphics and a synthesis of existing knowledge on groundwater in California, all designed to advance public understanding of this critical issue.

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June 27, 2016

After decades of dysfunction that have exacerbated chronic water problems, California is on the cusp of a new era due to historic groundwater legislation. However, meeting the law’s goals will require overcoming stubborn systemic obstacles, according to a report by researchers at Stanford’s Water in the West program and the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at the Stanford Law School.

In the Media

August 08, 2017
Monterey County Weekly

Rosemary Knight and her team present their findings from their electrical resistivity tomography study of the Monterey Bay coastline to the Marina Coast Board.

June 12, 2017
Stanford News

Senior Woods Fellow, Richard Luthy and his PhD student, Jon Bradshaw received four awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers Innovation Contest for their AquaCharge project. The project is an optimization tool for enhancing water system resiliency and and sustainability by using combined stormwater and recycled wastewater to augment groundwater recharge.

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