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

December 08, 2016

A new report analyzes progress in implementing landmark CA groundwater legislation: the formation of new agencies to manage groundwater.

December 05, 2016

California is currently entering its sixth year of drought. The length and intensity of this recent drought has caused declining groundwater levels, loss of groundwater dependent ecosystems, drying of domestic wells,...

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

November 29, 2016
Water Deeply

Senior Fellow at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson, explains how a federal court could soon resolve century-old uncertainties about Native American tribes' rights to groundwater in the Auga Caliente tribe's case in Palm Springs.

October 11, 2016
Water Deeply

Op-ed article regarding the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755) which references Water in the West's groundwater survey report on the state of groundwater data needs in California.

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