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Water 2016, 8(12), 569; doi:10.3390/w8120569

Conversion of Blue Water into Green Water for Improving Utilization Ratio of Water Resources in Degraded Karst Areas

1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, No.19, Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Environment and Digital Cities, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, No.19, Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
4
China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, Xicheng District, Beijing 100120, China
5
School of Geographic and Environmental Sciences, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 24 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract

Vegetation deterioration and soil loss are the main causes of more precipitation leakages and surface water shortages in degraded karst areas. In order to improve the utilization of water resources in such regions, water storage engineering has been considered; however, site selection and cost associated with the special karstic geological structure have made this difficult. According to the principle of the Soil Plant Atmosphere Continuum, increasing both vegetation cover and soil thickness would change water cycle process, resulting in a transformation from leaked blue water (liquid form) into green water (gas or saturated water form) for terrestrial plant ecosystems, thereby improving the utilization of water resources. Using the Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer model and the geographical distributed approach, this study simulated the conversion from leaked blue water (leakage) into green water in the environs of Guiyang, a typical degraded karst area. The primary results were as follows: (1) Green water in the area accounted for <50% of precipitation, well below the world average of 65%; (2) Vegetation growth played an important role in converting leakage into green water; however, once it increased to 56%, its contribution to reducing leakage decreased sharply; (3) Increasing soil thickness by 20 cm converted the leakage considerably. The order of leakage reduction under different precipitation scenarios was dry year > normal year > rainy year. Thus, increased soil thickness was shown effective in improving the utilization ratio of water resources and in raising the amount of plant ecological water use; (4) The transformation of blue water into green water, which avoids constructions of hydraulic engineering, could provide an alternative solution for the improvement of the utilization of water resources in degraded karst area. Although there are inevitable uncertainties in simulation process, it has important significance for overcoming similar problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: degraded karst areas; blue water; green water; leakage; Guiyang; SPAC; SVAT; conversion degraded karst areas; blue water; green water; leakage; Guiyang; SPAC; SVAT; conversion
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Chen, K.; Yang, S.; Zhao, C.; Li, Z.; Luo, Y.; Wang, Z.; Liu, X.; Guan, Y.; Bai, J.; Zhou, Q.; Yu, X. Conversion of Blue Water into Green Water for Improving Utilization Ratio of Water Resources in Degraded Karst Areas. Water 2016, 8, 569.

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