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A REGIONAL ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER AVAILABILITY AS CONSTRAINED BY LOCAL HYDROGEOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITS TO STREAMFLOW DEPLETION
Date of Award
Master of Science in Geological Engineering (MS)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Alex S Mayer
Groundwater pumping from aquifers in hydraulic connection with nearby streams is known to cause adverse impacts by decreasing flows to levels below those necessary to maintain aquatic ecosystems. The recent passage of the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact has brought attention to this issue in the Great Lakes region. In particular, the legislation requires the Great Lakes states to enact measures for limiting water withdrawals that can cause adverse ecosystem impacts. This study explores how both hydrogeologic and environmental flow limitations constrain groundwater availability in the Great Lakes Basin. A methodology for calculating maximum allowable pumping rates is presented. Groundwater availability across the basin is shown to be constrained by a combination of hydrogeologic yield and environmental flow limitations varying over both local and regional scales. The results are sensitive to factors such as pumping time and streamflow depletion limits as well as streambed conductance. Understanding how these restrictions constrain groundwater usage and which hydrogeologic characteristics and spatial variables have the most influence on potential streamflow depletions has important water resources policy and management implications.
Watson, Katelyn Anne, "A REGIONAL ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER AVAILABILITY AS CONSTRAINED BY LOCAL HYDROGEOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITS TO STREAMFLOW DEPLETION", Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2011.