Groundwater sustainability: A review of the interactions between science and policy

Leah Bremer, Kimberly Burnett, Water Resources, Christopher Wada, Environment, Publications

Concerns over groundwater depletion and ecosystem degradation have led to the incorporation of the concept of groundwater sustainability as a groundwater policy instrument in several water codes and management directives worldwide. Because sustainable groundwater management is embedded within integrated, co-evolving hydrological, ecological, and socioeconomic systems, implementing such policies remains a challenge for water managers and the scientific community. The problem is further exacerbated when participatory processes are lacking, resulting in a communication gap among water authorities, scientists, and the broader community. This paper provides a systematic review of the concept of groundwater sustainability, and situates this concept within the calls from the hydrologic literature for more participatory and integrated approaches to water security.