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Water 2016, 8(3), 102; doi:10.3390/w8030102

Modeling the Impact of Ditch Water Level Management on Stream–Aquifer Interactions

1
Hydrogeology Research Group, Department of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, 10587 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute of Landscape Hydrology, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. V., Eberswalder Straße 84, D-15374 Müncheberg, Germany
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24–25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 26 February 2016 / Accepted: 9 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
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Abstract

Decreasing groundwater levels in many parts of Germany and decreasing low flows in Central Europe have created a need for adaptation measures to stabilize the water balance and to increase low flows. The objective of our study was to estimate the impact of ditch water level management on stream-aquifer interactions in small lowland catchments of the mid-latitudes. The water balance of a ditch-irrigated area and fluxes between the subsurface and the adjacent stream were modeled for three runoff recession periods using the Hydrus-2D software package. The results showed that the subsurface flow to the stream was closely related to the difference between the water level in the ditch system and the stream. Evapotranspiration during the growing season additionally reduced base flow. It was crucial to stop irrigation during a recession period to decrease water withdrawal from the stream and enhance the base flow by draining the irrigated area. Mean fluxes to the stream were between 0.04 and 0.64 ls−1 for the first 20 days of the low-flow periods. This only slightly increased the flow in the stream, whose mean was 57 ls−1 during the period with the lowest flows. Larger areas would be necessary to effectively increase flows in mesoscale catchments. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater surface water interaction; adaption measure; required minimum runoff; ditch irrigation; Hydrus-2D groundwater surface water interaction; adaption measure; required minimum runoff; ditch irrigation; Hydrus-2D
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

Gliege, S.; Thomas, B.D.; Steidl, J.; Hohenbrink, T.L.; Dietrich, O. Modeling the Impact of Ditch Water Level Management on Stream–Aquifer Interactions. Water 2016, 8, 102.

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