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Water 2018, 10(1), 5;

WetSpass-Based Study of the Effects of Urbanization on the Water Balance Components at Regional and Quadrat Scales in Beijing, China

School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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China is the largest country in terms of population and its booming urbanization has exerted negative effects on ground-surface hydrological processes at different spatial scales, land-use types, and water balance, such as surface runoff, groundwater recharge, and evapotranspiration. However, it is not yet well understood as to how the modifications of the spatial patterns of landscapes affect the water balance on a regional scale. In this study, the water and energy transfer among soil, plants, and atmosphere (WetSpass) model was applied to evaluate the urbanization effects on the water balance on a regional scale by using Beijing as the case city for this current study. The relationships among impervious surfaces, landscape pattern indices, and water balance components were also quantified. Results indicated built-up land in 2012 was 673 km2 larger than it in 2000, mostly converted from croplands. WetSpass model also indicated the variation rates of annual average surface runoff, evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge were 7%, 0.4% and −2% in the whole Beijing area, while they reached 52%, 6% and −24% in the urban area of Beijing from 2000 to 2012, respectively. At a city scale, four districts—Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, and Haidian—were characterized by higher impervious percentage, as reflected by lower groundwater recharge and higher surface runoff than other districts. At quadrat scale, however, groundwater recharge (surface runoff) was negatively (positively) correlated with impervious percentages. For landscape indices, the Aggregation Index was positively correlated with surface runoff and negatively correlated with groundwater recharge while Patch Density Index, Splitting Index, Patch Richness Density Index, and Shannon’s Diversity Index presented opposite relationships. The results of this study can help to develop human knowledge about the impacts of urbanization on hydrological cycles on a regional scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; water balance; landscape index; hydrological model; Beijing urbanization; water balance; landscape index; hydrological model; Beijing

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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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Zhang, Y.; Liu, S.; Cheng, F.; Shen, Z. WetSpass-Based Study of the Effects of Urbanization on the Water Balance Components at Regional and Quadrat Scales in Beijing, China. Water 2018, 10, 5.

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