Jay Lund

Jay R. Lund, Ph.D. (Southern California)

Director of the UC Davis Watershed Sciences Center
Ray B. Krone Chair of Environmental Engineering, UC Davis

Can we stop undermining our water supplies? Groundwater and California's water future


Integrating groundwater into overall water and environmental management is critical to California’s water future. Groundwater is a major water source and storage mechanism for most of the state. Cities, farms, and ecosystems depend on it for both water supply and water quality. Over time, groundwater’s role has changed from an isolated and convenient source of clean water to an increasingly contaminated and diminishing source, with increasing effects on surface water bodies, users, and ecosystems. Lowered water tables, overdraft, and accumulations of salts, nitrate, and other contaminants have brought widespread effects to almost every part of the state. This talk reviewed groundwater’s diverse roles in water management in California, current and growing issues for groundwater supply and management, and promising approaches to integrating groundwater into broader water and environmental management, along with surface water, demands, and infrastructure. Political and scientific challenges for accomplishing such management were also discussed.


Jay Lund's work on groundwater mostly involves the integration of groundwater management with the management of surface water, water demands, and the environment. Examples include work on conjunctive use of surface and groundwater and, most recently, policy and management of nitrate contamination of groundwater. His overall research is in applying systems analysis and economic ideas to water resource and environmental problems. He has led development and application of a large-scale optimization model for California's water supply, as well as various other modeling and policy studies. In recent years he has been a principal author of several major books and reports on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and California water policy, with the Public Policy Institute of California, including Managing California's Water – from conflict to reconciliation. He is a frequent contributor to http://www.CaliforniaWaterBlog.com.