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Groundwater Policy, Governance and Management

Course Description

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 can result 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 are practical in nature, based on the presentation of 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 very specific but very 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 as well as reading and writing assignments. However, the assignments would be recommended but not compulsory.

Course offered for Pass/No Pass only.

  • Details
  • $650
  • October 09, 2023 to November 19, 2023
  • Delivery Mode: Online
  • Reg#: 00383
  • ID/Units: UPPP X401.1  (2.00)
    ( Section 1 )
  • Quarter: FALL 2023


Paul Weghorst: Paul Weghorst has dedicated his career to helping communities develop sustainable and reliable water supplies. Paul Weghorst, Executive Director of Water Policy at Irvine Ranch Water District. His responsibilities include overseeing the District’s groundwater banking and water transfer projects. He is also responsible for the District’s recycled water customer development programs, water use efficiency programs and environmental compliance activities. Mr. Weghorst has worked at Irvine Ranch Water District for 15 years. Prior to coming to the District, Mr. Weghorst worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation where he was active for 23 years planning and implementing surface and groundwater water supply reliability projects in the 17 western states. Paul graduated in 1982 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BS in Civil Engineer and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Colorado.

Jean Fried: Project Scientist, Urban Planning and Public Policy, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, and Water UCI, Expert-Consultant at the European Commission in Brussels and President of the European Institute for Water, Jean Fried developed an expert competence in directing multidisciplinary and multicultural professional groups of scientists, policymakers and planners, administrators, and their technical staff, to prepare the scientific background of water legislation in the EU and draft the corresponding water laws, with an emphasis on groundwater. He also directed water governance capacity-building programs of the EU in various countries and regions, such as, among others, the Middle East, South America, the United States, the European Union and most of its member states, Canada, Russia and Siberia, Uzbekistan, South Africa, with an emphasis on water, groundwater, and sustainable development. As Senior Consultant, he was involved in the UNESCO program on Transboundary Hydro-Governance Education, from 2006 to 2016 and organized and directed the Pilot Courses on Transboundary Groundwater Sustainable Management in Thessaloniki, Greece and UNESCO, Paris, France. Jean Fried has been a Project Scientist at the University of California, Irvine, since 2007, he has been teaching “Groundwater Policy and Governance” in 2017 and 2018, and, in 2019 and 2021, has conceived and implemented two international workshops, a California-European Union workshop in 2019 and a California-European Union-Australia workshop in 2021, on groundwater policy, governance, management and resilience, focusing on the implementation of the California Groundwater Sustainable Management Act. He has published more than 150 articles in international journals and conferences and is the author/co-author/co-editor of several books and chapters in books or conference proceedings, including “Transboundary Hydro-Governance - From Conflicts to Shared Management” (Springer, 2018), “Transboundary Groundwater Resources - Sustainable Management and Conflict Resolution” (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2016), and “Transboundary Water Resources Management: a Multidisciplinary Approach” (Wiley, 2011). Jean Fried is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Ponts Chaussées, Paris, France (MS Civil Engineering), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MS Civil Engineering), the University of Bordeaux, France (PhD Physics)

Textbook Information

Textbooks for your course may be purchased from any vendor or bookseller of your choice.

No textbook information is available for this course.

Meeting Schedule

EventDateDayStart TimeEnd TimeLocationRoom
START10/09/2023Monday------Online (Access Begins)---
OL-LEC10/09/2023Monday7:30 PM9:00 PMZoom---
OL-LEC10/12/2023Thursday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
OL-LEC10/19/2023Thursday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
OL-LEC10/25/2023Wednesday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
OL-LEC11/08/2023Wednesday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
OL-LEC11/13/2023Monday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
OL-LEC11/16/2023Thursday7:00 PM8:30 PMZoom---
END11/19/2023Sunday------Online (Access Ends)---