Groundwater Allocation

Managing Growing Pressures on Quantity and Quality

image of Groundwater Allocation

Groundwater allocation determines who is able to use groundwater resources, how, when and where. It directly affects the value (economic, ecological, socio-cultural) that individuals and society obtain from groundwater, today and in the future. Building on the 2015 OECD publication Water Resources Allocation: Sharing Risks and Opportunities, this report focuses on groundwater and how its allocation can be improved in terms of economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness and social equity. Drawing on an analysis of groundwater’s distinctive features and nine case studies of groundwater allocation in a range of countries, the report provides practical policy guidance for groundwater allocation in the form of a "health check". This health check can be used to assess the performance of current arrangements and manage the transition towards improved allocation.



Long term abstraction limits to conserve groundwater in Texas

This chapter examines how groundwater conservation districts in Texas have had a positive impact on the level of groundwater depletion. However, efforts by authorities to limit groundwater pumping have given rise to conflicts with private property claims in some cases. The case also discusses the “50/50” conservation scheme in the Texas Panhandle, which provides a good example of concerted and rigorous long term planning to explicitly account for intertemporal allocation and provide an incentive for farmers to adopt water conservation practices.


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