Sustainable management of groundwater requires the judicious allocation of resources to meet societal, ecological, and environmental needs, both now and over the long-term. Historically, groundwater sustainability has been narrowly defined in terms of protecting aquifers from contamination and limiting pumping to match groundwater use with recharge. However, a broader paradigm is necessary, one which considers the diverse requirements of multiple, sometimes conflicting consumers of groundwater, including groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs), and one which fosters aquifer resilience to changes in the hydroclimate. In order to develop this paradigm, the PI has the long-term career goals of promoting the sustainable management of groundwater resources by advancing the scientific understanding of groundwater dependent ecosystems and by providing engineering and water resources professionals with tools to incorporate sustainability into their decision making processes. This CAREER grant aims to further these goals through three project specific research objectives: 1) integrate the representation of GDEs into land-surface and groundwater availability models; 2) test and create improved metrics for quantifying sustainability and resilience of groundwater resources; and 3) explore management strategies for optimizing groundwater withdrawals to reduce impacts on GDEs and prevent water system failures. These will be complemented by three project specific educational objectives: 1) teach sustainable engineering practices across the civil engineering curriculum; 2) improve the application of sustainability principles by groundwater professionals; and 3) enhance the diversity of the engineering workforce by using sustainability concepts as a tool to engage those from underrepresented groups.
PI: Gretchen Miller
Sponsor: NSF Environmental Sustainability Program
Project Dates: June 2014 - May 2019
- Attitudes of Incoming Civil Engineering Students toward Sustainability as an Engineering Ethic
- Using Envision to Assess the Sustainability of Groundwater Infrastructure: A Case Study of the Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project