Climate-informed hydrologic modeling and policy typology to guide managed aquifer recharge

Xiaogang He, Benjamin P. Bryant, Tara Moran, Katharine J. Mach, Zhongwang Wei, David L. Freyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Harvesting floodwaters to recharge depleted groundwater aquifers can simultaneously reduce flood and drought risks and enhance groundwater sustainability. However, deployment of this multibeneficial adaptation option is fundamentally constrained by how much water is available for recharge (WAFR) at present and under future climate change. Here, we develop a climate-informed and policy-relevant framework to quantify WAFR, its uncertainty, and associated policy actions. Despite robust and widespread increases in future projected WAFR in our case study of California (for 56/80% of subbasins in 2070-2099 under RCP4.5/RCP8.5), strong nonlinear interactions between diversion infrastructure and policy uncertainties constrain how much WAFR can be captured. To tap future elevated recharge potential through infrastructure expansion under deep uncertainties, we outline a novel robustness-based policy typology to identify priority areas of investment needs. Our WAFR analysis can inform effective investment decisions to adapt to future climate-fueled drought and flood risk over depleted aquifers, in California and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabe6025
JournalScience Advances
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 21 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate-informed hydrologic modeling and policy typology to guide managed aquifer recharge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this