U.S. ground water think-tank shares goals
November 29, 2017 By Ground Water Canada
Nov. 29, 2017, Durham, NC – A new U.S. report based on findings from the Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum at Duke University last May and June recommends making simultaneously rising aquifers and a growing economy a new goal toward ground water sustainability.
The Forum has released six key findings of the report, “The Future of Groundwater”:
- To date, ground water has been managed for sustained depletion. We need an alternative goal: simultaneously rising aquifers and a growing economy.
- Proactive ground water management balances the needs of all users-from ensuring access by domestic households to securing food supply to meeting energy demand to protecting the environment while accounting for climatic variability and population growth to ensure ground water is available for use for future generations.
- Aquifers may span thousands of miles, but the management and impacts of ground water use are context-specific, given unique geologic conditions and water use characteristics. Although aquifers are complex and unique, the consequences of ground water contamination and depletion are not. A portfolio of already-developed solution sets (market, technological, regulatory) is available and can be tailored to fit within existing policies and regulations.
- Ground water is often locally managed, although the consequences of ground water depletion can span large regions. Boutique solutions will not suffice to solve large-scale problems, making it important to identify solutions sets, including conservation, markets, and water funds, that are scalable.
- It is critical to build trust and transparency that leads to collaboration by, and education of, decision-makers and the general public.
- Those most immediately vulnerable to ground water problems are often the smallest contributors to the problem, and the government regulatory structures most likely to protect those communities are not well organized to do so.
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