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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Groundwater accounts for approximately 99% of the available freshwater on Earth, and is an important resource for irrigation, potable water, and domestic use in the United States. However, the overuse of groundwater has led to aquifer depletion in several basins across the USA, resulting in storage reduction, contamination, salt water intrusion, and depletion of surface waters. To properly manage groundwater for the future, there is a need for well-informed Groundwater Management Plans (GWMPs) in order to prevent further depletion and erosion of the resource. Previous studies have focused on groundwater management relative to groundwater laws, regulations, and institutional arrangements. This study analyzed GWMPs to better understand how allowable yields are set, how interconnected groundwater conditions are addressed, and how groundwater systems are managed when information on the system is lacking through planning. The findings of this study delineate how groundwater management goals are set across the United States and provides recommendations to inform future GWMPs.


First Advisor

Anita Milman

Second Advisor

Paul K. Barten