WRRC 2023 Spring Seminar

April 28, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Zoom Meeting

The Consequences of Groundwater Withdrawals and their Implications for Sustainable Yield in Hawai‘i

by Dr. Scot Izuka

USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center

How much groundwater is available for human use from Hawai‘i’s aquifers? It depends. All groundwater withdrawals—even from the smallest wells—have consequences such as water-table decline, saltwater intrusion, and reduction of groundwater discharge to springs, streams, and the ocean. The larger the withdrawal, the larger the severity of the consequences. Terms like “safe” or “sustainable” yield are commonly misinterpreted to mean that some amount of water can be taken without consequences—but there’s no free lunch. The amount of groundwater available for human use depends on the severity of the consequences that a community is willing to accept. On one hand, a community’s resource managers need to decide on acceptable limits for the consequences; on the other hand, science needs to quantify the severity of the consequences for a given set of circumstances. Iterative communication between science and resource managers can work toward a balance between the need for groundwater withdrawals with the need to limit consequences. This presentation will discuss example studies in which analysis of existing data, collection and analysis of additional data, and numerical modeling are used to quantify the consequences of groundwater withdrawals in Hawai‘i.

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Event Sponsor
WRRC, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Keri Kodama, 956-3174, kodamak8@hawaii.edu

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