5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Rick Copeland
Session Name Groundwater Resource Evaluation
Author(s) Rick  Copeland,  AquiferWater, Inc. (Presenting Author)
  Development of a Basin-wide Groundwater Quantity Index for Long-term Sustainability
  The proper management of groundwater resources is essential for their long-term sustainability. In order to properly manage our aquifer, not only scientists and water managers, but also the public, need to be involved in the management process. One way to include all parties is to periodically report on the overall conditions of groundwater basins that are easily understood by all. Indices have the potential to accomplish this objective, but unfortunately, are not currently available. To assist in this deficiency, two indices are proposed that can tract the overall quantitative conditions of groundwater basins. One is for a sub-basin, while the other is for an entire basin. They are based on two components of a groundwater budget: groundwater withdrawals and recharge. Using the proposed indices, seven examples from the three major aquifers of Florida are presented. They demonstrate that Florida’s aquifer conditions currently vary from very good to stressed. The indices have the potential to be periodically reported to the citizens of Florida. A more informed public will be better able to manage its groundwater resources over the long term.