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Water 2016, 8(3), 90; doi:10.3390/w8030090

Precipitation Intensity Effects on Groundwater Recharge in the Southwestern United States

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Magaly Koch and Thomas M. Missimer
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Assessment and Management in Drylands)
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Episodic recharge as a result of infrequent, high intensity precipitation events comprises the bulk of groundwater recharge in arid environments. Climate change and shifts in precipitation intensity will affect groundwater continuity, thus altering groundwater recharge. This study aims to identify changes in the ratio of groundwater recharge and precipitation, the R:P ratio, in the arid southwestern United States to characterize observed changes in groundwater recharge attributed to variations in precipitation intensity. Our precipitation metric, precipitation intensity magnification, was used to investigate the relationship between the R:P ratio and precipitation intensity. Our analysis identified significant changes in the R:P ratio concurrent with decreases in precipitation intensity. The results illustrate the importance of precipitation intensity in relation to groundwater recharge in arid regions and provide further insights for groundwater management in nonrenewable groundwater systems and in a changing climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater recharge; precipitation intensity; climate change; sustainable groundwater management groundwater recharge; precipitation intensity; climate change; sustainable groundwater management

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Thomas, B.F.; Behrangi, A.; Famiglietti, J.S. Precipitation Intensity Effects on Groundwater Recharge in the Southwestern United States. Water 2016, 8, 90.

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