Plans Across the USA

Groundwater management plans are an important tool for guiding policies and actions that help to achieve and preserve the desired state of the aquifer, while meeting economic, social and environmental goals. Groundwater management plans set out a vision, specify concrete goals and objectives, and identify polices that will collectively serve to achieve these goals and objectives.  Effective groundwater planning requires knowledge of the groundwater system and an ability predict, determine the effects of, monitor, and control the human actions that impact the groundwater system.

In the USA, the management of groundwater primarily falls under state jurisdiction, as such, the legal and regulatory environment for groundwater management planning varies substantially. In some states, a state-level agency is responsible for the development of groundwater management plans. In other states, legislative or administrative laws designate regional or local-level agencies responsibility for the formation of groundwater management agencies and groundwater management plans. In other states, legislation or administrative laws provide an enabling framework that encourages local-level agencies to develop groundwater management plans, yet do not require it.

This research analyzes and compares the legal and policy environment for groundwater management planning and the groundwater management plans that have been developed across the continental USA in order to determine which planning practices and methods are best suited to varying policy, knowledge, and socio-physical contexts.  

Findings will be posted Spring 2019.