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About the Hydro Group

The Hydrogeology and Water Resources Program falls under the umbrella of the Department of Earth System Science (ESS) within the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Our research interests span a range of topics including the scientific basis for water resources management with special interest in developing regions, ecohydrology, global freshwater vulnerability, surface-groundwater interactions, groundwater allocation policy, fluid flow and solute transport processes, innovative simulation techniques, and cutting-edge technologies in hydrogeophysics and remote sensing for near-surface hydrology.

Graduate Program

  • MS (with thesis) and PhD tracks
  • Combines earth sciences and engineering
  • Research integrates field data with quantitative modeling

The Stanford Hydro Group consists of graduate students and post-doctoral research associates working with Professor Steven Gorelick. We interact with faculty in other Stanford departments and scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The Hydro Group has taken the lead in developing the Global Freshwater Initiative through the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Global Freshwater Initiative


The Global Freshwater Initiative (GFI) is developing strategies that promote the long-term viability of freshwater supplies for people and ecosystems threatened by climate change, shifts in land use, increasing population, decaying infrastructure and groundwater over-pumping.

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Jordan Water Project

In arid regions throughout the world, water system security is at a tipping point due to a confluence of drivers that include severely limited water supplies, rapid population growth and demographic shifts, climate change and variability, transboundary competition for shared freshwater resources, and institutional dysfunction. The overarching challenge is to sustain the human-natural system in the presence of rapid environmental and socioeconomic change. This interdisciplinary effort is aimed at developing a new approach to evaluate policies to enhance sustainability of freshwater resource systems. Our research is focused on Jordan, which is one of the ten water poorest countries in the world.

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