Title: Ground Water Management
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002251/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ground Water Management
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Ground Water Management, March 24, 1977
General Note: Box 10, Folder 12 ( SF Water Rights-Water Crop - 1973, 1976-77 ), Item 15
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002251
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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(Ground Water


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history shows us that the usual practice in ground water development and
utilization has been to treat problems and initiate action programs on an
individual, piecemeal basis. Those involved often fail to recognize the benefits
of complete management:of the ground water resource and its integration into
the total water resource system. Each agency has its own goals and these may
be inconsistent, or even in conflict, with.the goals of other users in the area..
For example, an irrigation district may wish to maintain high ground water
levels to reduce pumping costs, while-ariother water agency may wish to lower
levels in the fall to permit storage of percolated storm runoff. This practice of
lowering levels may be in conflict with the agency which is operating an
Injection well-type seawater intrusion barrier, and wishes to maintain high
levels to reduce its recharge water requirements and operating costs. One
agency may wish to export all wastewater to satisfy a certain water quality
objective, while another may wish to treat and recharge wastewater to augment
S the ground water supply. Some users may be overpumping ground water and
taking a smaller quantity of imported water in an effort to strengthen their
water rights, in conflict with the goals of the seller of imported water and those
striving to keep water levels high.
Conflicting goals of water agencies and users can usually best be modified
and become common through development of a ground water management
plan directly by all interested parties or their elected or appointed representa-
tives. Often it is desirable to create an agency with boundaries contiguous with
the borders of the area to be managed, vested wtitTrle authority necessary to
Implement a plan of orderly development of 1he grJond water supply. Not
-only must technical problems of hydrology and'-pology be solved, but
Attention must also be given to their legal, organizational, social, and political

Many misconceptions exist concerning the purpose of ground water
management, and many of them are based on unproven "fact" and imaginary
truths. It is important to identify the misconceptions so that they can be
I Some of the most frequently quoted misconceptions are:
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1. Present water levels n ground water reservoirs must be keptthe same or
raised higher, because to lower water levels would increase costs and lead to the
use of other, more expensive water supplies.
2. It is a sin to mine ground water.
3. We have no right to use ground water presently in storage: it should be
kept for the next generation or for use in case of emergency.
4. Water is different from other resources; therefore we must manage the
use of water differently.
5. Unless we lekve water below the presentwater table for the use of future
pogrations, they will be deprived of this vital product. If they are not deprived
of water, at best, its cost will be too high for them to continue economic
6. Ground water reservoirs are unfathomable; therefore the engineer cannot
reliably estimate their extent or utility.
7. Overdrafting of ground water reservoirs wildetrrfoy their usefulness;
therefore they must be immediately operated so that the outflow will not
exceed the inflow.

All of these points can appear, at first glanc*, to malk ense, and each one
merits consideration. In analyzing each of these masconceptions, however, it is
wise to keep in mind the objective of managment-to provide adequate water
service with the maximum net benefit if the beafit produced by alternative
schemes are identical, minimum cost will result in the aadxm ummet benefit.
SThe first statement-that lower ground water levels wil increase the coat of
-water service-might be true in a area of abundant surface water supply, but is
surely false if applied to aeas of meager surface.water supply. If the cost of
round water Is, for example, $5.00 per acre-ft (4.00/l,000 s), and surface
water can also be obtained for SS.00 per acr-ft, then to meet a given demand
and the continued lowering of ground water levels by incread use of ground
-water would lead to more expensive water. In contrast, if the cost of ground
-wter Ia S10.00 per acre-ft (S8.00/1,000 m'), and the acst ofimported water
60.00 per actft ($48.00/,000 ms), itwould be foolish to curtail the e of .
round water, increase the se of imported water, and still expect to provide
the most economical type of water service. However, if mining ground water
-4esults in depleting an irreplaceable reso ee, the permanency of tie more
costly imported water supply must be assured so that it my be used when the
pound water supply is insufficient, either in quantity or in quality.
The second statement-that it is a sin to mite gound water seservairs-is
ibct to rebuttal upon logical analysis. The water inground water bthis has
usually been accumulated during the course of many thowaads or aUons of
yes. No one put it there for any particular purposeor particular use. Noone
Intended It to be kept in any particular condition. The watering the mgrndls a
nattual resource that we can utilize fully if we wish. We utilize other, similar

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resources: coal, sulfur, iron, or petroleum. The problem actually comes down
to a question of deciding to what extent the stored ground water should be
depleted through use.
The third statement-that we have no right to use ground water presently in
storage and that it should be kept for future generations or some unforeseen
emergency-is questionable. An analogy many clarify this: one wyuld not
necessarily curtail all activity and put all of his money away into a trust fund
to be safe for his children, while depriving himself and them 6f the necessities
of life. Similarly with the water in storage in the aquifer: emergencies do occur
in, water service and any wise manager recogizes the need for an adequate
emergency supply of watering store. However, before designating a part of a
resource to meet an emergency, the emergency requirement must be defined
and the magnitude of the water resources available in the reservoirs evaluated.
Only then shouldthe necessary part the supply be set aside tommet that
SE fourth statementthat water is different from other resources and must
be managed differently-implies that water is unique in economic life. Food is
equally important, yet the normal forces of the market serve admrami y to
produce and deliver food. It is only in areas where people live in nonmarket
Economies that food production is an ual struggle and thewheat (or rice or
sugar cane) harvest a much-publicized event. There is no reason to believe that
the market forces, which have been so successful in the production of food and
the more complex products of modem technology like jet planes, casn, or
television sets, wil be unable to stimulate the production and transportation of
wales at an economiric price.
S".U The fifth statement Involves two parts, suggesting that either the next
Generation will be deprived of water altogether, or that the cost of water will
become too high for economic activities. On.consideration, however, we find
that there are vast amounts of water-freshwater, salt water, contaminated
water min.eralwater-and that freshwater suitable for human consumption can
be derived from any of these sources in any desired amount through some
Sphyical and chemical processes, if we are willing to pay for them. Moreover,
wates is abundant in some areas and scarce in others, and cap be tr-asported
* from.one place to another at some determinable cost. From this we deduce
.:that there are few places on earth where water is needed and cannot be
-provided. Therefore,.what we are worrying about is the cost of obtaining the
S taor and the ability to fund this cost, rather than the water itself for the next
*geOneation. -
In areas blessed by, readily v#ilable, inexpensive supplies of water, the cost
f water will. remain relatively constant while water .demapd increases rapidly.
In anema possessig saall amounts of inexpensive water, the cost of water will
increase as the demand rises regardless of attempts to control price. Manyof
the aid lands of the United States hve been developed through exploitation



of inexpensive ground water. This availability of water fostered expansion
which lih n created the economic base upon which large imported supplies
could be made available at reasonable cost. As long as our population and use
requirements increase, the cost of water will increase. It does not appear to be
logical to burden the present generation with excessive water cost so that
Spgnerations to follow may operate at lower cost.
The sixth statement-that it is impossible to estimate the availability of
ground water supplies-is belied by current ground water technology. Today,
geologists and hydrologists can estimate the approximate volume of resources
underground and also the extent of their usefulness. For example, oil
companies evaluate their producible reserves carefully before a decision to
develop them is made. It is interesting to note that ground water reserves have
ot'received the same serious study, although they are much closer to the
ground surface. Some say this is because a barrel ef oil is worth more than a
barrel of water on the open market Yet man can live without oil, but dies
without water. The same basic technical knowledgeapplied to oil is applicable
for estimating the extent of water in storage.
The seventh statement-that overdrafting will destroy the utility of ground
water reservoirs and they should therefore be operated immediately so that
inflow equals outflow-is merely a more elaborate presentation of the concept
of safe yield which will be discussed later. The utility of a pipe or a container is
not destroyed when it is not in usetit is merely not used. Similarly. aquifers
can be dewatered and replenished, as ccessary, without affecting their utility
unless permanent subsidence causes a reduction in storage capacity. If mining
of ground water is not permitted then ground water in storage is of no value: it.
is analogous to saying that storage in a surface reservoir cannot be idedued
Because of many of these misconceptions, experts in water resources
management have failed, in many instances, to develop the ground water
resource so that al water requirements can be met. They have concentrated on
surface water developments or have attempted to curtail water demands and
economic activities rather than increase the total usable supply.
In recent years, a growing awareness has developed of the complexities of
ground water operations, and, fortunately, process has been made in
incorporating modern technical, economic, and logical concepts into proposed
"management plans.However, much yet remains to be accomplished.

S- Identification of Problems Threatening Ground Water RMsores .
Ground water users often do not recognize ground water problems until
they ae well advanced. These problems sometimes take the form of a lowering
of ground water levels, which results in increased power costs to lift the water
ad costs to deepen wells and enlarge pumps. Sometimes subsidence occurs, or
-ocean or saline conate waters intrude into the freshwater aquifer. On the
-other hand, rising ground water levels may adversely affect building fqunda-

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tions 0o subways, or result in. atashe ad wuper 19Po Hi~toii ly, in many
coastal toundwatp areas, such as Mtabattan Bacw in Soothen Caliorni,
grout water utilinzaio bhs coninud. uati high chlqrid ion entratioms
in grmod,water used the abladmummt of major water supply wells. Also i
some coastal areas (as in Florida); di vwmption of marinas and canals as
moved s wpote af, .daysad silto yin frehwater aquifrcn permitti
-eawater to Ianrade. InmepedyoWstAQted and abandoned wpls may act as
cross couctions betwe~ aquifesx4jawi4a peow V44y water to mnov from
a degraded azon todimeda mntlcntang potabl .ater. Ground water quality
an also be thl atenmdby the rpercdlEl of wa ewaters through wells, as a
esut of Infituatiom of keachat:msaWmoument of gas fo sanitary landfills
throeh the mzne 6f ation
Slow degudation of' ground wstfralty sy sua from- repeated us.
Thid. pesewo ea may require decade t use and -rous ef water become,
as*alble. Howear, omo it iseaoe cud axpqwiwp qlmSeure.and many ycra,
are required to restore the aquifer water to ts edgial tity.
SIf wv6rthy df noe that dot problns result rom actions of.aausad
idealy, themeore, mlght be pvented, at the dui* a at ng the, requis~
inMght li techniat ability. UlMiy, howI w r, bMi pra4ctip s r foupwa
Until emeigpey aadtidMa dpelp. It Iman'rsMlacance ~tchang taditonal
Sj cu~ritnmt ct ts t Epie .tmand water basifH to~.reduc pu ni costs
or overwtradthtg to Mwiaatai walmgzulbat, that sfla i t p alfor se of
Sgrold.water fteitavo plrmedlrtiialuton of.th wat resouces.

S .. Alternative Manaement ObjLmIes
After Metsynsg the pqpemst restaniw the pro waf supply ofan
area, aLdm agnsltalThatomehowthey shoulA bo spWd, the next stap oar
the water tsesi"r lkdrilly the wtear purMMwyor orpgiuztipnst 'tpdevlop'
: te unaimenat ~obj =ete for as actin prqm m to solv o mitigate the
Difficulties. Advice ef'nanyspecdaBHsP wo Ang O(addi ng hydrologic)
legal, buespglgtj adeootm-4risq*Wdi this dificult tk.
*- Q aMens wlchhic ayawe mrindtha dberations are: -

1. Should ti p*blems be approachedont city by city,cy t y by county.
-district by district, or basin by basin basis, or from the regional viewpoint?
2. How much of dr mcn.d wat r,*Mwmme.iWbld bW .pai 4by J Uera ,
troti mwaer bish amd i tmuth ttomghad aloe or pppiPg tauas
S3.dmd bs aifers i maBagmapd a sew pat em e BF r ea integal,
S. r pumof the otalwahtS merce system?
* 4. WheMn shouiM 4ellea~ en t.il, a- aiatn.q .id plitiq. ,
ance cmai l taredJBlagornuaioBrCr e ms~kaSeae aa gemt a
~eeShiscempaiert"0Bs, noat alt

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It Is clear that noneconomic forces will inevitablyjaluae the iaplementa-
tion of the plan and may even override ~emopao factors. Many p4lamne elect
-to disregard noneconomic aspects until the *isaatims a compared on the
basis of costs and benefits. In this manner, the decision makers can clearly .
evaluate the extra cost of revisions required by lepi, institutional, social and
political forces. -
FoPntlation of management objectives Is often -more complex than the
techiakl task of developing alternative plans to meet them. Among the majpr
obstacles will be the misconceptionsmentioned previous. There will be many
who oppose implementation of a water resources management pla becauseit
breaks with traditional practices of keeping the bain full and pumping lifts
small. Others will object to any plan because this connotes "control" and an
infrgement on what they consider to be their preogatives or rights.
Management, if it truly performs its function, will coWmide the effect of
various objectives on voter and water-user reaction, economic growth, capital
investment, water rights, and relations with other public bodies.

Elements of Management Plan
Once management objectives are adopted, the activities and costs of a
planning investigation must be developed in sufficient detail to obtain
S authorization and funds for the study. These require identification of the

plan, as will the manner and extent of the use of surface water, both local and
Si imported. Determination of the boundary conditions, not only geologic and .
hydrologic but also political, is needed. The legal structure of the management
agency, including its authority and responsibilities, must be appraised in light
of the management objectives and existing local, state, and federal law. The
financing of any- management plan, whether by pumping assessment, ad
valorem tax, or revenue from the sale of water, must be analyzed. Some type
Sof monitoring program will be essential after implementation of the selected
S.- pn to measure the performance of the operational program and its ability to
satisfy the management objectives.
The necessary information should be obtained even if it is available only in
Qualitative terms. When the information s presented, executive and legislative
-pubic bodies and water agency boards of directors should be able to visualize

sotivities, costs, and schedule of the recommended water resources manage-
S' -inent study.

SAuthorization and Financing of Planning Investigations
SIt is not the purpose of this manual to describe the maze of channels and
a-ultiple requirements which characterize authorization and financing by

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