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Groundwater is a critical resource in the United States because it provides drinking water, irrigates crops, supports industry, and is a source of water for rivers, streams, lakes, and springs. Wells that pump water out of aquifers can reduce the amount of groundwater that flows into rivers and streams, which can have detrimental impacts on aquatic ecosystems and the availability of surface water. Estimation of rates, locations, and timing of streamflow depletion due to groundwater pumping is needed for water-resource managers and users throughout the United States, but the complexity of groundwater and surface-water systems and their interactions presents a major challenge. The understanding of streamflow depletion and evaluation of water-management practices have improved during recent years through the use of computer models that simulate aquifer conditions and the effects of pumping groundwater on streams.
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USGS Numbered Series
Understanding and managing the effects of groundwater pumping on streamflow