Groundwater Droughts - A Tale from a Few Aquifers

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Speaker: Venki Uddameri, Director, Water Resources Center and Professor of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University

Aquifers are often seen as a buffer resource and relied upon to a greater extent during periods of droughts. There is however a growing body of evidence that aquifers responses such as spring flows, discharges to surface water and water levels (storage) are all affected by droughts. However, there is considerable asymmetry between meteorological and groundwater droughts. Groundwater systems often depict a delayed response to droughts but also exhibit considerable inertia getting out of droughts. As such, conventional drought indicators such as the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) may provide useful signals on groundwater responses but are not necessarily good surrogates to manage groundwater resources. Groundwater responses from several Karst and clastic aquifers in Texas as well as spring flow and stream-aquifer interactions will be used to demonstrate how droughts propagate through groundwater systems and use these insights to discuss ways to manage aquifers during droughts.

Q&A to follow. PDH credit available for attendees.

Organized by the AWRA Future Risk Technical Committee.

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Christine McCrehin

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