Presented By: Maurice Hall, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Ecosystems-Water, Environmental Defense Fund
Groundwater provides a wide array of services to support our economy and communities. Perhaps most obviously, it captures distributed rainfall and delivers it to wells. It also sustains rivers and streams, supports groundwater-dependent ecosystems, and serves as an incredible storage reservoir. Yet, except for a few notable exceptions, our groundwater basins, these amazing natural infrastructure facilities, are largely managed passively, if they are managed at all. Even the most successful examples of proactive groundwater basin management tend to be focused primarily on one service – sustained supply to wells. Inevitably, this passive or singularly focused groundwater management means that other groundwater services are compromised over time. With a bit more attention and sophistication, however, the multiple benefits that groundwater basins provide can be preserved, and in some cases, enhanced.
In his David Keith Todd Distinguished lecture for 2019, Maurice Hall will share his vision on how more holistic and inclusive groundwater management can increase the resilience of our water supply and sustain and enhance the services that groundwater basins provide for a wide range of stakeholders. Maurice will share some suggestions on how the flexibility offered by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act allows for innovative approaches that support multiple benefits and how engaging stakeholders beyond water interests in shaping groundwater management can lead to more resilient rural communities and strengthen regional cooperation.