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Effect of Sea Level Rise and Groundwater Withdrawal on Seawater Intrusion in the Gulf Coast Aquifer: Implications for Agriculture

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2016.44015    1,493 Downloads   2,200 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The two main factors contributing to depletion of freshwater resources are climate change and anthropological variables. This study presents statistical analyses that are local in its specifics yet global in its relevance. The decline in Gulf Coast aquifer water quality and quantity has been alarming especially with the increased demand on fresh water in neighboring non-coastal communities. This study used seawater levels, groundwater use, and well data to investigate the association of these factors on the salinity of water indicated by chloride levels. Statistical analyses were conducted pointing to the high significance of both sea water level and groundwater withdrawals to chloride concentrations. However, groundwater withdrawal had higher significance which points to the need of water management systems in order to limit groundwater use. The findings also point to the great impact of increased groundwater salinity in the Gulf Coast aquifer on agriculture and socioeconomic status of coastal communities. The high costs of desalinization point to the increased signification of water rerouting and groundwater management systems. Further investigation and actions are in dire need to manage these vulnerabilities of the coastal communities.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Anderson, F. and Al-Thani, N. (2016) Effect of Sea Level Rise and Groundwater Withdrawal on Seawater Intrusion in the Gulf Coast Aquifer: Implications for Agriculture. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 4, 116-124. doi: 10.4236/gep.2016.44015.

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