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Water 2016, 8(9), 396; doi:10.3390/w8090396

Groundwater and Surface Water Availability via a Joint Simulation with a Double Control of Water Quantity and Ecologically Ideal Shallow Groundwater Depth: A Case Study on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China

1
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
2
Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
3
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
4
School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 227 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Abstract

Joint assessment of groundwater-surface water resources can help develop sustainable regional water management plans for intensive agriculture. In this study, we estimated allowable groundwater and surface water quantities using a water balance model, WetSpass-GMS, for the Sanjiang Plain (10.9 × 104 km2), one of the most important grain production bases in China. We then applied a double control based on the groundwater availability and the concept of an ecologically ideal shallow groundwater depth (EISGD) to three different water use scenarios: (A) continuation of the current water use management; (B) maximal use of water resources under a double control; and (C) irrigation of 266.7 × 104 hectares that are suitable for rice cultivation. We found an annual allowable surface water quantity of 4.71 billion cubic meters for the region and an annual exploitable groundwater quantity of 4.65 billion cubic meters under full consideration of water requirements, i.e., sustaining river base flow, necessary riverine sediment transport, and ecological water supplies for wetlands and reservoirs. Our simulation results showed that for Scenario A, groundwater level in the region would continue falling, and that the groundwater levels in wet, normal and dry years would drop below the EISGD level in 2028, 2023 and 2019, respectively. For Scenario B, groundwater and surface water would be able to support rice paddies of 219.7 × 104 hectares, 212.7 × 104 hectares, and 209.3 × 104 hectares during wet, normal and dry years, respectively. For Scenario C, future demands on groundwater and surface water under wet, dry and normal years would all exceed their allowable supplies. Overall, this study indicates that integrated management plans promoting an increase of surface water use and a reduction in irrigation with groundwater should be developed for sustainable agriculture and ecological preservation on the Sanjiang Plain. View Full-Text
Keywords: allowable water resources; coupled simulation and regulation; surface-groundwater interaction; double control of water quantity and water level; Sanjiang Plain allowable water resources; coupled simulation and regulation; surface-groundwater interaction; double control of water quantity and water level; Sanjiang Plain
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Wang, X.; Zhang, G.; Xu, Y.J. Groundwater and Surface Water Availability via a Joint Simulation with a Double Control of Water Quantity and Ecologically Ideal Shallow Groundwater Depth: A Case Study on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. Water 2016, 8, 396.

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