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Groundwater development stress: Global-scale indices compared to regional modeling

October 23, 2017

The increased availability of global datasets and technologies such as global hydrologic models and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have resulted in a growing number of global-scale assessments of water availability using simple indices of water stress. Developed initially for surface water, such indices are increasingly used to evaluate global groundwater resources. We compare indices of groundwater development stress for three major agricultural areas of the United States to information available from regional water budgets developed from detailed groundwater modeling. These comparisons illustrate the potential value of regional-scale analyses to supplement global hydrological models and GRACE analyses of groundwater depletion. Regional-scale analyses allow assessments of water stress that better account for scale effects, the dynamics of groundwater flow systems, the complexities of irrigated agricultural systems, and the laws, regulations, engineering, and socioeconomic factors that govern groundwater use. Strategic use of regional-scale models with global-scale analyses would greatly enhance knowledge of the global groundwater depletion problem.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Groundwater development stress: Global-scale indices compared to regional modeling
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12578
Authors William Alley, Brian R. Clark, Matt Ely, Claudia C. Faunt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Groundwater
Index ID 70192138
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center

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