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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF CONSERVATION PRACTICES IN OKLAHOMA AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: A decision framework to enhance sustainable groundwater management

Authors
item Steiner, Jean
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Brauer, David
item Howell, Terry
item Mojarro, Francisco -
item Bautista, Carlos -
item Junez, Hugo -
item Avila, Roberto -
item Echevarria, Francisco -
item Serna, Alfonso -
item Diaz, Juan Carlos -

Submitted to: USDA Miscellaneous Publication 1343
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 18, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Groundwater aquifers, which supply water for billions of the world’s inhabitants, are under stress due to increasing human population, water demand for economic development, and environmental constraints. Projected climate change increases uncertainty regarding sustainability of groundwater systems. A coalition was formed to address aquifer management in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico; Oklahoma, USA: and the Ogallala Aquifer in the Southern High Plains of the USA, including stakeholder groups, university, federal, state, and local researchers, educators, and policy makers in each region. The framework developed has broad applicability to other regions with depleting aquifers. Surface and subsurface hydrology models are being linked to address climate, technology, management, and policy scenarios of interest in the Calera Aquifer Region (CAR) located in central Zacatecas. With 300,000 inhabitants (27% of the state population), the CAR accounts for 13% of employment and 73% of gross domestic product in the state. Limited rainfall, inefficient irrigation, and growing urban and industrial water demand contribute to unacceptable rates of decline in the groundwater levels. Scenarios of interest to water managers and stakeholders in the CAR include adoption of efficient irrigation technologies, conversion to rainfed crops or crops with lower irrigation requirement, conversion to high value crops to maintain economic viability in communities, and restoration of degraded rangelands to enhance recharge. The paper will present the framework for analysis of these scenarios to provide better decision support to organizations and individuals who must develop and implement policy to reduce groundwater depletion.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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