International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Keeping the Pump Primed: Aquifer Sustainability

Thursday 4 July, 2013

Please join us for the 2013 McEllhiney Lecture by John Jansen

July 10 2013, 5:00 pm start for 5:45 lecture

Melbourne Hotel, corner of Hay and Milligan Streets

John joins us in the midst of his world tour, courtesy of the US-based National Ground Water Association.  Please show him a strong Western Australian welcome.


How will your groundwater resources fare in the future and how will that affect your business? How can we ensure the sustainability of our aquifers through sound science? How should groundwater contractors and scientists confront economic and political challenges affecting the resource that is pivotal to the success of their businesses? How is “sustainability” defined and what tools and strategies can be used to protect groundwater systems as well as those who obtain and develop it? What information must be gathered and compiled to build consensus and present a compelling case to regulators and policymakers?

By attending John Jansen’s 2013 McEllhiney Lecture presentation, you will gain an understanding of:
  • How several different definitions of “sustainability” apply to the management of an aquifer, and how these different definitions may affect your business
  • States’ varying approaches to aquifer management, reflecting their local conditions and history — with specific considerations of how the approach in your state affects you and your business
  • How regulatory practices are evolving, and why they must balance local economic and political realties with environmental needs to be accepted and successful
  • Meaningful ways that you provide information and build consensus, to help the regulatory evolution move in a positive direction
  • Steps needed for successful management from all perspectives.
Currently, there are states in the USA that manage aquifers by pumping to balance groundwater recharge, which can cause stream depletion. Others limit pumping to protect surface flows, which can have negative economic impacts. Yet still others manage aquifers for controlled depletion in recognition of the severe economic disruption that would occur from either stricter goals or a lack of any planning and management. Many western states manage aquifers to protect surface water rights, while others ignore the connection between surface water and groundwater. Some eastern states seek the use of a hybrid “regulated riparian” approach to balance the free use of water with a reasonable use standard. What are the impacts of these approaches to your local groundwater industry and the reliability of water resources in the future?
No one can control, manage, or sustain what is not measured, so monitoring is the first step needed to ensure success. Monitoring can identify aquifers being used in an unsustainable manner and that information can be used to build information and consensus to find remedies to sustain groundwater systems as well as the industries and businesses that rely on them. One example of this is the deep sandstone aquifer of northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin, where decades of overpumping have created one of the largest cones of depression in the world. Both states have conducted detailed studies of the aquifer and have begun regional planning to control the human and environmental impacts. Other regional examples from around the country will be presented, and an emphasis will be given to the local conditions and issues of the McEllhiney Lecture host organization.


John Jansen McEllhiney Lecturer

John Jansen, Ph.D., PG, is a principal and senior hydrogeologist for Cardno ENTRIX and works on a wide variety of groundwater projects around the country, specializing in high-capacity wells and groundwater resource management. Formerly a partner in a Denver-based water rights company and the chief geoscientist for an international drilling company, he has broad experience in well construction and maintenance, as well as water rights issues.

Jansen holds three U.S. patents on water well-related technologies and is the lead author of the chapter on borehole geophysics in the third edition of Groundwater & Wells, published in 2007. He is a professional geologist in seven states and a registered geophysicist in California. Jansen’s a member of the Advisory Council on Water Information, a federal advisory committee advising the U.S. government on water research priorities, where he had been active in the development of a national groundwater monitoring network. He has a B.S. in geology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in geological sciences, with an emphasis in hydrogeology and geophysics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


The McEllhiney Lecture Series in Water Well Technology is made possible by a grant from Franklin Electric Co.  The McEllhiney Lecture Series is a feature of the National Groundwater Association.

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