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Water 2015, 7(11), 5959-5985; doi:10.3390/w7115959

Simulation of Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions under Different Land Use Scenarios in the Bulang Catchment, Northwest China

1
School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 10083, China
2
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, PO Box 3015, Delft 2601 DA, The Netherlands
3
Institute of Huai River Water Resources Protection, Bengbu 233001, China
4
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Water Resources Section, Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5048, Delft 2600 GA, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Polya
Received: 11 July 2015 / Revised: 12 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Assessment and Management in Drylands)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2962 KB, uploaded 2 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Groundwater is the most important resource for local society and the ecosystem in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment. The catchment water balance was analyzed by considering vegetation types with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), determining evapotranspiration rates by combining sap flow measurements and NDVI values, recorded precipitation, measured river discharge and groundwater levels from November 2010 to October 2011. A simple water balance computation, a steady state groundwater flow model, and a transient groundwater flow model were used to assess water balance changes under different land use scenarios. It was shown that 91% of the precipitation is consumed by the crops, bushes and trees; only 9% of the annual precipitation becomes net groundwater recharge which maintains a stable stream discharge in observed year. Four land use scenarios were formulated for assessing the impacts of land use changes on the catchment water balance, the river discharge, and groundwater storage in the Bulang catchment. The scenarios are: (1) the quasi natural state of the vegetation covered by desert grasses; (2) the current land use/vegetation types; (3) the change of crop types to dry resistant crops; and (4) the ideal land use covered by dry resistant crops and desert grasses, These four scenarios were simulated and compared with measured data from 2011, which was a dry year. Furthermore, the scenarios (2) and (4) were evaluated under normal and wet conditions for years in 2009 and 2014, respectively. The simulation results show that replacing current vegetation and crop types with dry resistant types can significantly increase net groundwater recharge which leads to the increase of groundwater storage and river discharges. The depleted groundwater storage during the dry year could be restored during the normal and wet years so that groundwater provides a reliable resource to sustain river discharge and the dependent vegetations in the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater-surface water interactions; remote sensing; land use scenarios; simulation model; catchment water balance groundwater-surface water interactions; remote sensing; land use scenarios; simulation model; catchment water balance
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, Z.; Zhou, Y.; Wenninger, J.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Wan, L. Simulation of Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions under Different Land Use Scenarios in the Bulang Catchment, Northwest China. Water 2015, 7, 5959-5985.

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