Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Science of The Total Environment 447 (March 1, 2013), pp. 32–45; doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.011


Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


Modeling groundwater vulnerability to pollution is critical for implementing programs to protect groundwater quality.Most groundwater vulnerability modeling has been based on current hydrogeology and land use condi- tions. However, groundwater vulnerability is strongly dependent on factors such as depth-to-water, recharge and land use conditions thatmay change in response to future changes in climate and/or socio-economic condi- tions. In this research, a modeling framework, which employs three sets of models linked within a geographic information system (GIS) environment, was used to evaluate groundwater pollution risks under future climate and land use changes in North Dakota. The results showed that areas with high vulnerability will expand northward and/or northwestward in Eastern North Dakota under different scenarios. GIS-based models that account for future changes in climate and land use can help decision-makers identify potential future threats to groundwater quality and take early steps to protect this critical resource.