Paper No. 46-4
Presentation Time: 9:35 AM
USING HISTORICAL PUMPING AND HEAD LEVEL DATA TO ESTIMATE THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINABLE YIELD OF OAHU’S AQUIFERS
Current estimates of Oahu’s aquifers rely on complex models of the island’s geology. While there are benefits to studying the geological characteristics of the island, the difficulty of the process and the assumptions required make estimates of the MSY somewhat difficult for laymen and policymakers to comprehend. Additionally, both the complexity of these models and the assumptions needed to calculate the MSY suggest verifying the estimates using a simpler approach is a worthwhile endeavor. Using historical variation in aquifer head levels and quantity of water pumped from stations throughout the island, we provide a simpler method to estimate MSY. By comparing changes in head level to the quantity of water pumped each month, we deduce a quantity of water that can be sustainably drawn from the aquifers. Preliminary results yield an MSY that is lower than what is estimated in the geology literature, which may have important policy and resource management implications.