Ground and Surface Water Interaction—Legal Aspects

by William E. Kelly, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. and Environmental Engrg., Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 55-60

Document Type: Journal Paper


Small ground-water withdrawals may have only slight impacts on hydraulically connected streams, ponds and wetlands. Future development of ground-water resources in the small glacial aquifers of New England may be limited by the need to minimize such impacts. The statutory authority to regulate ground-water withdrawals in the New England states is minimal. Private withdrawals of ground water are governed by common law doctrine, modified in some states by the rule of reasonable use. Under current law, protection of minimum streamflows and pond levels from excessive ground-water withdrawals cannot be guaranteed. Rules and regulations recognizing the relation of surface and ground water, coupled with the ability to manage these water resources, are advocated.

Subject Headings: Surface water | Ponds | Water resources | Groundwater management | Hydraulics | Rivers and streams | Wetlands (fresh water) | Aquifers | New England | United States

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