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Managing Groundwater Quality and Quantity in the Western States

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Document pages: 144 pages

Abstract: How does groundwater affect national interests? This report, done for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993, addresses that question with respect to the pollution of groundwater (quality) and the use of groundwater (quantity). Generally groundwater has been regarded as a matter for state regulation, although there are some federal laws that protect groundwater quality. However, there is no federal law protecting groundwater quality that is equivalent to the federal Clean Water Act. The use of groundwater has been regarded as a matter of state law. Groundwater use implicates federal interests, in that the federal government may be called upon to build costly rescue projects for communities that have mined their groundwater. Groundwater pumping also can affect surface flows, wetlands, and springs. In most instances there are no federal or state laws that protect these ecological interests.

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