UPPP X401.1

Groundwater Policy, Governance and Management

Groundwater is a vital component of the world’s freshwater resources, representing almost 99% of all liquid fresh water on Earth, and it is stored for very long periods – 900 years on average. Consequently, groundwater is a very precious resource, a vast freshwater reserve with a unique capability for bridging large periods without any rainfall. The case of the drought in California is rather instructive in that matter. California groundwater quality is generally excellent. Where aquifers can be economically utilized, groundwater represents a first-rate resource for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses. Groundwater must be governed and managed carefully. Hence great attention must be given to groundwater policy and governance by political decision-makers, water professionals, and the public. Such efforts start through education and training in the matters of policy, governance, and management covered in this course.

The first topics present what groundwater is, how it is a major freshwater resource in the world, how overuse results in negative consequences as well as why and how its use should be organized through policy, governance, management. The difficulties and challenges of such an organization will also be addressed in general. These topics are followed by sessions that will present two examples regarding California and its Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, and the European Union and its Water Framework Directive of 2000 and its Groundwater Directive of 2006. The efforts of other Western States will also be explored. These examples will be discussed and compared. The last topic deals with specific and important themes involving economics and finance with comparisons of California and France within the EU, with its law of 1964. France was the first European country to organize the management of water resources in a modern way, now almost universally practiced. The course includes references, reading and optional writing assignments.

Approximate Cost TBD
Format Online
Duration TBD
Total Units 2