AWWA Policy: Management of Groundwater

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The following revised AWWA Policy Statement on Management of Groundwater has been approved by the Technical and Educational Council for public comment.

Comments on the policy statement will be reviewed by AWWA staff and forwarded to the Executive Committee if the comments are minor or referred back to the originating body if the comments are substantive. Policies forwarded to the Executive Committee will be reviewed and, if approved, forwarded to the Board of Directors for final action.

Management of Groundwater

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) recognizes that groundwater resources are essential sources of drinking water for a large proportion of the world’s population and therefore supports the proper development, management, and use of such resources to ensure availability, reliability and quality of groundwater in the long-term.

The rational use of groundwater requires the best joint efforts of water utilities, other groundwater users, governments, the water profession, the educational community, and other groundwater-related organizations. Groundwater resources in many locations have been or are in danger of becoming depleted by overpumping, or degraded as a result of improper land use, waste disposal practices, well construction, and/or abandonment practices.

AWWA supports improving the understanding of technical issues related to groundwater and the development of sound legislation and regulations that protect the quality and ensure the availability of groundwater. AWWA supports groundwater planning, education, and source water and wellhead protection efforts to identify potential threats to groundwater quality and availability in order to avoid problems before they occur. Public education and outreach involves an understanding of the nature of the resources and development issues such as proper well siting, well design, groundwater withdrawal operations, and well maintenance and rehabilitation practices. AWWA supports the development and application of withdrawal, recharge, and resource management that optimize the use of groundwater for drinking water.

Where competing interests exist, AWWA supports the principle that the best and highest priority use of groundwater is drinking water. 

Submit comments by April 24, 2014.

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