Science, society, and the coastal groundwater squeeze
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Coastal zones encompass the complex interface between land and sea. Understanding how water and solutes move within and across this interface is essential for managing resources for society. The increasingly dense human occupation of coastal zones disrupts natural groundwater flow patterns and degrades freshwater resources by both overuse and pollution. This pressure results in a “coastal groundwater squeeze,” where the thin veneers of potable freshwater are threatened by contaminant sources at the land surface and saline groundwater at depth. Scientific advances in the field of coastal hydrogeology have enabled responsible management of water resources and protection of important ecosystems. To address the problems of the future, we must continue to make scientific advances, and groundwater hydrology needs to be firmly embedded in integrated coastal zone management. This will require interdisciplinary scientific collaboration, open communication between scientists and the public, and strong partnerships with policymakers.
© 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. This author accepted manuscript is made available following 6 month embargo from date of publication (28 April 2017) in accordance with the publisher’s copyright policy