A framework to assess ground and surface water sustainability in Louisiana

F. Ryan Clark, The Water Institute of the Gulf, 301 N. Main St., Suite 2000, Baton Rouge, LA 70825, rclark@thewaterinstitute.org, www.thewaterinstitute.org; Scott A. Hemmerling, The Water Institute of the Gulf, 301 N. Main St., Suite 2000, Baton Rouge, LA 70825, shemmerling@thewaterinstitue.org; and Harris C. Bienn, , The Water Institute of the Gulf, 301 N. Main St., Suite 2000, Baton Rouge, LA 70825

The Water Institute of the Gulf (the Institute) worked with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation (DNR) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to develop an organizational framework to assess ground and surface water sustainability in Louisiana. An assessment framework was developed that can conjunctively appraise supply and demand in both ground and surface water units across the state. The assessment framework was developed to provide an appraisal of current and expected future water supply and use and to develop a planning instrument that can better inform management decisions and minimize the potential impact of future growth on overall water supply costs. The framework has been constructed to provide uniformity of analysis across hydrologic units using existing data sources. The elements of this assessment framework were measured using existing data sources or estimated using established techniques. The framework was designed to be modular in nature, with the capability for components and tools to be replaced as more accurate or site-specific tools or data become available. The assessment framework was used to analyze potential changes to the overall water balance that would result from future population change.

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