Sustainability of Ground-Water Resources

by W.M. Alley, T.E. Reilly, and O.L. Franke

U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1186

This report is available as:

  1. An HTML document (immediately below)
  2. A pdf file (20 mb)
  3. A printed bound report available at no cost from:
    USGS Information Services (Map and Book Sales)
    Box 25286
    Denver Federal Center
    Denver, CO 80225
    Telephone: (303)202-4700 or 1-800-HELP-MAP or 1-888-ASK-USGS
    Fax: (303)202-4693


Title Page
Back of Title Page
General Facts and Concepts about Ground Water
Ground-Water Development, Sustainability, and Water Budgets

Ground-Water Budgets
Hypothetical Examples of How Ground-Water Systems Change in Response to Pumping
Field Examples of How Ground-Water Systems Change in Response to Pumping
Long Island, New York
High Plains Aquifer
Effects of Ground-Water Development on Ground-Water Flow to and from Surface-Water Bodies
Coastal Environments
Effects of Ground-Water Development on Ground-Water Storage
Storage Changes
Water-Quality Factors Affecting Ground-Water Sustainability
Land-Surface/Water-Table Connection
Ground-Water/Surface-Water Connection
Saltwater Intrusion
Meeting the Challenges of Ground-Water Sustainability
The Importance of Ground-Water Data
Use of Ground-Water Computer Models
Strategies for Sustainability
Concluding Remarks


Box A--

Confined and unconfined aquifers respond differently to pumping
Box B-- Droughts, climate change, and ground-water sustainability
Box C-- Ground-water/surface-water interactions and water-resources sustainability:  Examples from the Northwestern United States
Box D-- High Plains aquifer:  Egg carton or bathtub
Box E-- The connection between surface-water quality and ground-water quality in a karst aquifer
Box F-- Refinement of ground-water system understanding through time: Lessons from post audits
Box G-- Examples of innovative approaches that contribute to ground-water sustainability

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Last modified: Friday, January 11 2013, 12:27:14 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button