SS 5 - Putting Policy into Practice: Achieving Sustainable Groundwater Management for People and Nature

Monday, August 7, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 256, Oregon Convention Center
Melissa M. Rohde, The Nature Conservancy
Sustainable groundwater management is important for preserving our economy, society, and environment. The incorporation of environmental considerations into sustainable water management policies are spreading worldwide, creating new opportunities for nature to receive the water it needs. However, ensuring that natural ecosystems are allocated enough water when implementing sustainable groundwater management policies remains a challenge. Competing social and economic interests, a lack of biological/ecological expertise in water agencies, financial and technical constraints to characterize ecosystems, and a lack of measurable targets/thresholds all hinder sustainable groundwater management.

This session will use examples from Australia, the European Union, and the United States to highlight the opportunities and challenges that exist when implementing sustainable groundwater management policies. An expert panel will introduce some of the existing conceptual frameworks and methodologies being used to manage ecosystems within the context of water management.  A discussion will ensue on the challenges that remain in determining measurable outputs and the best available science on thresholds.  This session will convene a group of academic experts and practitioners to catalyze a discussion on the research opportunities available to provide sound and practical metrics for practitioners.

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