Stream-Aquifer Interactions

The Arkansas River at Larned. Photo by KGS.

Groundwater pumping can cause reductions in streamflow, but attributing changes in streamflow to groundwater pumping is difficult because these changes are superimposed on weather-driven variability in streamflow and there may be long lags between pumping and hydrologic change.

Ongoing work in this area focuses on developing simple, user-friendly tools for estimating streamflow depletion due to groundwater pumping and quantifying streamflow depletion across the US.

Key past findings:

  • Relatively simple, empirical extensions of traditional analytical models produce comparable streamflow depletion estimates to complex numerical models ( Zipper et al., 2018; Zipper et al., 2019).
  • Urbanization and cannabis cultivation have significant potential impacts on streamflow depletion in California’s Navarro River Watershed ( Zipper et al., 2019).
Sam Zipper
HEAL PI; Assistant Scientist/Professor

I specialize in ecohydrology and hydrogeology of agricultural and urban landscapes.