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Assessing Ground-Water Vulnerability To Contamination: Providing Scientifically Defensible Information For Decision Makers

Throughout the United States increasing demands for safe drinking water and requirements to maintain healthy ecosystems are leading policy makers to ask complex social and scientific questions about how to assess and manage our water resources. This challenge becomes particularly difficult as policy and management objectives require scientific assessments of the potential for ground-water resources to become contaminated from anthropogenic, as well as natural sources of contamination. Assessments of the vulnerability of ground water to contamination range in scope and complexity from simple, qualitative, and relatively inexpensive approaches to rigorous, quantitative, and costly assessments. Tradeoffs must be carefully considered among the competing influences of the cost of an assessment, the scientific defensibility, and the amount of acceptable uncertainty in meeting the objectives of the water-resource decision maker.

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Date Of Record Release 2009-09-22 15:04:00
Description Throughout the United States increasing demands for safe drinking water and requirements to maintain healthy ecosystems are leading policy makers to ask complex social and scientific questions about how to assess and manage our water resources. This challenge becomes particularly difficult as policy and management objectives require scientific assessments of the potential for ground-water resources to become contaminated from anthropogenic, as well as natural sources of contamination. Assessments of the vulnerability of ground water to contamination range in scope and complexity from simple, qualitative, and relatively inexpensive approaches to rigorous, quantitative, and costly assessments. Tradeoffs must be carefully considered among the competing influences of the cost of an assessment, the scientific defensibility, and the amount of acceptable uncertainty in meeting the objectives of the water-resource decision maker.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source United States Geological Survey
Keyword Groundwater, Contamination
Selector Bates
Date Of Record Creation 2009-09-22 14:57:03
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2009-09-22 15:04:00
Creator Michael J. Focazio, Thomas E. Reilly, Michael G. Rupert, Dennis R. Helsel
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2009-09-22 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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