The sustainable development and management of groundwater resources in coastal aquifers is complex and, historically, challenging to accomplish. Groundwater models play an essential role in addressing these complexities and providing the basis for planning future sustainable development. For more than 25 years, the authors have applied three-dimensional groundwater models to manage large scale coastal aquifers.
The paper will present case studies demonstrating the application of groundwater models to evaluate conditions in complex coastal environments and to develop sustainable groundwater management strategies. These studies include Long Island, a sole source aquifer system in New York serving nearly 3 million people; aquifers in Southern California where injection barriers are used to prevent saltwater intrusion; and Savannah, Georgia in the southeastern US, where concentrated groundwater pumping has contributed to saltwater intrusion at a nearby resort island, and planning is underway to ensure a sustainable groundwater supply to both local industries and municipalities.