Groundwater availability as constrained by hydrogeology and environmental flows

Ground Water
National Science Foundation
By: , and 



Groundwater pumping from aquifers in hydraulic connection with nearby streams has the potential to cause adverse impacts by decreasing flows to levels below those necessary to maintain aquatic ecosystems. The recent passage of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact has brought attention to this issue in the Great Lakes region. In particular, the legislation requires the Great Lakes states to enact measures for limiting water withdrawals that can cause adverse ecosystem impacts. This study explores how both hydrogeologic and environmental flow limitations may constrain groundwater availability in the Great Lakes Basin. A methodology for calculating maximum allowable pumping rates is presented. Groundwater availability across the basin may be constrained by a combination of hydrogeologic yield and environmental flow limitations varying over both local and regional scales. The results are sensitive to factors such as pumping time, regional and local hydrogeology, streambed conductance, and streamflow depletion limits. Understanding how these restrictions constrain groundwater usage and which hydrogeologic characteristics and spatial variables have the most influence on potential streamflow depletions has important water resources policy and management implications.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Groundwater availability as constrained by hydrogeology and environmental flows
Series title Ground Water
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12050
Volume 52
Issue 2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher National Ground Water Association
Publisher location Worthington, OH
Contributing office(s) Michigan Water Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 225
Last page 238
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details