Human-Environment Interface

Quantifying Earth system interactions for sustainable food production via expert elicitation

Many irrigated agricultural areas seek to prolong the lifetime of their groundwater resources by reducing pumping. However, it is unclear how lagged responses, such as reduced groundwater recharge caused by more efficient irrigation, may impact the …

Quantifying the impact of lagged hydrological responses on the effectiveness of groundwater conservation

Many irrigated agricultural areas seek to prolong the lifetime of their groundwater resources by reducing pumping. However, it is unclear how lagged responses, such as reduced groundwater recharge caused by more efficient irrigation, may impact the …

Quantifying Streamflow Depletion from Groundwater Pumping: A Practical Review of Past and Emerging Approaches for Water Management

Groundwater pumping can cause reductions in streamflow (“streamflow depletion”) that must be quantified for conjunctive management of groundwater and surface water resources. However, streamflow depletion cannot be measured directly and is …

Hotspots for social and ecological impacts from freshwater stress and storage loss

Humans and ecosystems are deeply connected to, and through, the hydrological cycle. However, impacts of hydrological change on social and ecological systems are infrequently evaluated together at the global scale. Here, we focus on the potential for …

Cannabis farms in California rely on wells outside of regulated groundwater basins

As permitted cannabis farming in California continues to expand statewide, including in ecologically sensitive watersheds, an improved understanding of water-use practices is needed. Existing evidence suggests widespread reliance on groundwater wells …

Developing a sustainability science approach for water systems

We convened a workshop to enable scientists who study water systems from both social science and physical science perspectives to develop a shared language. This shared language is necessary to bridge a divide between these disciplines’ different …

A Serious Board Game to Analyze Socio-Ecological Dynamics towards Collaboration in Agriculture

Climate change exacerbates water scarcity and associated conflicts over water resources. To address said conflicts and achieve sustainable use of water resources in agriculture, further development of socio-ecological adaptations are required. In …

Book Review: Water Resources: Science and Society

A book review for Water Resources: Science and Society by Hornberger and Perrone.

The Water Planetary Boundary: Interrogation and Revision

The planetary boundaries framework proposes quantified guardrails to human modification of global environmental processes that regulate the stability of the planet and has been considered in sustainability science, governance, and corporate …

Transitions from irrigated to dryland agriculture in the Ogallala Aquifer: Land use suitability and regional economic impacts

Many agricultural communities depend on groundwater irrigation as a supplemental or primary water source. However, groundwater resources are finite, and depletion can make continued irrigation inviable. When modeling the economic impacts of future …