Toward Sustainbable Groundwater in Agriculture
Toward Sustainbable Groundwater in Agriculture
Toward Sustainbable Groundwater in Agriculture
University of California
Toward Sustainbable Groundwater in Agriculture

Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture - An International Conference Linking Science and Policy 2016

28 - 30 June 2016

San Francisco, California


This three-day international conference will again bring together leading scientists, policy analysts, policy and decision makers, and agricultural and environmental stakeholder groups to define and highlight the science, challenges, and potential policy solutions in agricultural groundwater resources management and groundwater quality protection that will provide a sustainable future at regional, national, and global scales.

Groundwater is the lifeline for many rural and agricultural regions and their associated cultures and populations around the globe and a cornerstone of global food production. Groundwater constitutes nearly half the world's drinking water and much of the world's irrigation water supply. Population growth, overexploitation, salinization, nonpoint source pollution from agricultural activities (including animal farming, ranching, and forestry activities), impacts to surface water, and groundwater quality and quantity conflicts at the urban-rural interface have reached global dimensions and threaten the health and livelihood of this planet.

preliminary conference program (update 4/24/2016) is available now.


Conference Themes

Groundwater Management, Governance, Policy, and Regulation, Agricultural Water Use, Conjunctive / Integrated Management

  • Conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water
  • Irrigation water delivery and use efficiency: groundwater impacts, sustainability of irrigated agriculture, soil salinization due to increased water use efficiency, and conservation
  • Groundwater management approaches, including community/collective approaches, instrumental approaches (laws, regulations, prices), demand management, and indirect approaches (energy policy, agricultural policies, adaptation)
  • Management of the groundwater-agriculture nexus around the globe
  • Perspectives under the EU Framework Directive
  • Groundwater recharge, including managed aquifer recharge (MAR), aquifer replenishment in crop production areas, increased recharge under land conversion to crop land, policies for aquifer recharge
  • Policies related to economics of shifting agricultural management to control groundwater depletion/contamination, etc.
  • Successes and failures
  • Data collection, management, transparency, communication

Socio-Economic Aspects of Agricultural Groundwater

  • Agricultural groundwater and livelihoods: socio-economics, policy issues, and adaptation
  • Environmental justice and human health related to groundwater use in rural areas
  • Groundwater's role in global food production and food security

Climate, Energy, and Agricultural Groundwater

  • Climate change impacts on groundwater and adaptation strategies, including land use issues, groundwater recharge, and farming security
  • Groundwater and energy, including biofuels, energy efficiency, carbon footprint of agriculture, and the role of energy subsidies on groundwater production

Agricultural Groundwater Quality and Contamination, Regulation

  • Impacts, monitoring, regulation, best management practices (BMPs), policy, economics regarding agricultural contaminants:

                   Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus)
                   Pharmaceuticals in animal farming
                   Pathogens and food safety
                   Farm petroleum-product management and groundwater contamination

  • Drinking water source water protection (groundwater) in agricultural regions - policies, management, and economics at the urban-agricultural fringe
  • Groundwater salinity, including intrusion, drainage issues, and secondary salinization
  • Occurrence, management, and treatment of natural contaminants in agricultural groundwater
  • Source water protection (groundwater) in agricultural regions, including policies, management, and economics
  • Regulatory compliance related to nonpoint source impacts to groundwater, ambient groundwater monitoring for groundwater protection, including vadose zone monitoring, nutrient balance monitoring, and groundwater monitoring, data management

Groundwater at the Agriculture-Urban Interface

  • Groundwater use, management, and quality at the agriculture-urban interface, including agricultural legacy contamination
  • Reuse of wastewater and biosolids in agriculture, including water quality impacts, economic incentives, and sustainable management
  • Groundwater quality and management issues in forestry

Groundwater Linkages to Groundwater-dependent Ecosystems

  • Surface water/groundwater interactions: impacts to and from agriculture, farm/groundwater/stream ecology linkage
  • Agricultural groundwater and estuary ecosystems
  • Managing groundwater capture of stream flow / groundwater dependent ecosystems

Forecasting and Modeling

  • Groundwater supplies
  • Groundwater quality
  • Management optimization / assessment / incorporating uncertainty
  • Climate extremes (drought/flood)


Available Resources from the 2010 Conference

For questions regarding this website, please email Dr. Thomas Harter


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