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The capture principle approach to sustainable groundwater use
Expanded Title:The well-documented and scientifically accepted theoretical principles of groundwater flow theory dictate that “water withdrawn artificially from an aquifer is derived from a decrease in storage in the aquifer, a reduction in the previous discharge from the aquifer, an increase in the recharge, or a combination of these changes” (Theis, 1940). The associated decrease in discharge or increase in recharge has been termed “capture” of water, and it is the ability of aquifer pumping to capture discharge and enhance recharge, that dictates the aquifer’s yield. It follows that an assessment of the sustainability of groundwater abstraction would quantify these changes in the flow regime, and determine whether the changes and their associated impacts are considered acceptable, termed here the capture principle-based approach to groundwater sustainability. However, many current tools to support groundwater management broadly apply water balance type calculations for aquifer yield assessments, often at quaternary catchment scale, and aquifers (or catchments) with high use compared to recharge are generally identified as “stressed” or “over-used”. The approach can limit groundwater development based on a perceived stress. Impeding the implementation of the capture approach to sustainability, is the fact that the approach is intertwined with adaptive management. Management must proceed on less than ideal information, and decisions adjusted as groundwater use continues. This is awkward to regulate. The ultimate purpose of the project was to promote the capture principle approach to sustainable groundwater use. The project proposed the development of a tool (“decision framework”) that could facilitate the translation of theoretical hydrogeological principles for sustainable groundwater use based on capture approach into practice.
Date Published:01/11/2016
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Catchment Management
Document Keywords:Hydrology
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2311/1/17
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0893-7
Authors:Seyler H; Witthüsser K; Holland M
Project No:K5/2311
Originator:WRC
Document Size:101 885 KB
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