Article - Groundwater Journal

A Global Synthesis of Managing Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Under Sustainable Groundwater Policy

This article is a review paper intended for practitioners and policy makers.  The paper provides an overview of how GDEs have been incorporated into water management policy initiatives existing worldwide and highlights the opportunities and challenges of replicating these efforts elsewhere.  Read a short description of this paper with this blog piece.

Mentions in the Press

Yale Environment 360: "In a rare U.S. preserve, water pressures mount as development closes in" (August 2017)



This article is a research paper meant for practioners and researchers.  This paper is the first study to investigate the benefits and economic costs of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects in California.  The data used in this study came from applications submitted to the state for bond funding, since statewide information on groundwater was proprietary and hard to access.  All of the data collected for this study is available in pdf and xlsx formats on the Supporting Material for our paper.  Read a short description of this paper with this blog piece or Stanford News.

Mentions in the Press

Salon: "California farmers use floodwater to replenish aquifers (Feb 2017)

Article - Frontiers in Environmental Science Journal


This article is a technical paper meant for practitioners and researchers. This paper explores whether electrical conductivity meters can be used as a more simple way to monitor groundwater recharge.  To do this, we investigated the effectiveness and controls of electrical conductivity as a monitoring tool. In this monsoon-dependent region, we found electrical conductivity meters gave us the most accurate results for groundwater recharge after the monsoon rains.  Our analysis concluded that EC meters are an easy-to-use tool to enhance routine groundwater monitoring in hard-rock aquifers.  Read a short description of this paper with this blog piece.



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Article - Hydrogeology Journal
Estimating aquifer recharge in fractured hard rock: analysis of the methodological challenges and application to obtain a water balance (Jaisamand Lake Basin, India)



This article is a technical paper that explores which methods are best to estimate groundwater recharge in fractured hard rock aquifers.  In this paper, we compare the Water Table Fluctuation and Chloride Mass Balance methods.  When comparing the two methods, our analysis demonstrates the challenges in trying to accurately measure groundwater recharge and further discusses the implications this has for estimating how much water can be sustainably withdrawn for consumption.  Read a short description of this paper with this blog piece.


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Download the electronic supplementary material

Research Brief
Storing Water in California: What Can $2.7 Billion Buy Us?


This research brief compares the benefits and economic costs of surface water and groundwater storage.   This report is particularly relevant today as California works to enhance its water storage options using the $2.7 billion Proposition 1 funds specifically allocated for water storage - groundwater storage and surface water storage. 

The key findings of this research brief are: 

  • Groundwater recharge and storage is six times more cost-effective than surface water storage
  • Groundwater recharge and storage can serve as part of an integrated strategy to take advantage of new sources of water like recycled wastewater and stormwater. This enables local water managers to employ groundwater recharge and storage as a versatile water management tool and promote a diversified water portfolio.
  • Past bond funding is concentrated in areas with higher basin prioritization, and only 40% of applications were awarded.  As a result, demand in groundwater recharge and storage projects remains unmet through state bond funds.

Click here to download the report

Read the Reflections on Water blog post: More Water and Money in the Bank with Groundwater Storage

Read the Stanford Water in the West blog post: Water Bonds and Groundwater Storage: A Retrospective


Mentions in the Press

Los Angeles Times: "To save water, an underground movement to bank El Niño's rainfall" (November 2015)

Huffington Post:  "California Whiplash" (February 2015)  

SF Gate Opinion: "Getting our money's worth from $7.5 billion water bond" (November 2014)

Interactive Online Series
Understanding California's Groundwater

This online series explores groundwater management in California through new research into key groundwater issues, interactive graphics and a synthesis of existing knowledge on groundwater in California, all designed to advance public understanding of this critical issue.

This project uses original research and data visualizations to highlight the costs and benefits associated with groundwater recharge and storage projects across California.

Explore the website:



Mentions in the Press

The Guardian: "Get used to toilet-to-tap water, Californians told" (August 2014)

SFGate Opinion: "California's invisible reservoirs" (August 2014)

New York Times Opinion Pages: "How Conservation and Groundwater Management Can Gird California for a Drier Era" (August 2014)

Stanford News: "Stanford's Water in the West program offers new way to view groundwater resources" (July 2014)