Managing for sustainability in an arid climate: Lessons learned from 20 years of groundwater management in Arizona, USA

Katharine L. Jacobs, James M. Holway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Substantial progress has been made within central Arizona in moving towards a more sustainable water future, particularly in transitioning the urban demand from a primarily nonrenewable groundwater-based supply to increasing dependence on the Colorado River, Salt River and effluent. Management efforts include a wide range of regulatory and voluntary programs which have had mixed success. The Department of Water Resources has learned a number of key lessons throughout the years, and this paper attempts to establish the water management context and identify those lessons for the benefit of others who may want to evaluate alternative approaches to groundwater management. Themes to be discussed include evaluating water management approaches in a public policy context, the effectiveness of alternative management approaches and the relative merits of regulatory vs. nonregulatory efforts, and the importance of high-quality data in making management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Arizona water management
  • Conjunctive management
  • Gronudwater management
  • Sustainability
  • Water conservation
  • Water policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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