The Institutional Dimensions of Groundwater Recharge: A Special Collection


April 2021

Groundwater pumping exceeds naturally occurring recharge in many regions of the world. The resulting impacts to groundwater systems adversely affect human and environmental systems. Climate change adds urgency, as the combination of more extreme flood and drought regimes coupled with intensifying demand further push groundwater resources out of balance. In many or most groundwater basins, some reduction in groundwater extraction will be necessary to reduce outflows from stressed basins. Increasing inflows to these basins through Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is increasingly looked to as a mechanism to help bring aquifers into sustainable balance.

In this special collection, we examine deployment of MAR in examples from around the USA to illustrate the range of institutional approaches used as well as how those relate to the drivers and objectives of MAR. The overarching impetus for this work is the recognition that in many cases institutional elements are as important, or more important, than technical challenges to MAR.

The collection of 10 articles in the journal Case Studies in the Environment was co-edited by U Mass Professor Anita Milman and CLEE Water Program Director Michael Kiparsky.

Map of the United States showing the geographic distribution of the case studies in the special collection. There are 3 in California and one each in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, and Virginia.

Explore the collection:

Groundwater Recharge to Address Integrated Groundwater and Surface Waters: The ESPA Recharge Program, Eastern Snake Plain, Idaho

Kathleen Miller, Phoebe Goulden, Kate Fritz, Michael Kiparsky, John Tracy, and Anita Milman

Groundwater Recharge for a Regional Water Bank: Kern Water Bank, Kern County, California

Michael Kiparsky, Kathleen Miller, Phoebe Goulden, Anita Milman, and Dave Owen

Groundwater Recharge for State-wide Water Security: The Arizona Water Bank, Arizona

Anita Milman, Cameron Bonnell, Rita Maguire, Kathryn Sorensen, and William Blomquist


Read an interview with the authors:

The Institutional Dimensions of Groundwater Recharge: A Special Collection

For more information

Contact Mike Kiparsky, Director of the Wheeler Water Institute.