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Regional Assessment of Groundwater Recharge in the Lower Mekong Basin

International Water Management Institute, Southeast Asia Regional Office, PO BOX 4199, Vientiane, Laos
College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hydrology 2017, 4(4), 60;
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
PDF [7616 KB, uploaded 12 December 2017]


Groundwater recharge remains almost totally unknown across the Mekong River Basin, hindering the evaluation of groundwater potential for irrigation. A regional regression model was developed to map groundwater recharge across the Lower Mekong Basin where agricultural water demand is increasing, especially during the dry season. The model was calibrated with baseflow computed with the local-minimum flow separation method applied to streamflow recorded in 65 unregulated sub-catchments since 1951. Our results, in agreement with previous local studies, indicate that spatial variations in groundwater recharge are predominantly controlled by the climate (rainfall and evapotranspiration) while aquifer characteristics seem to play a secondary role at this regional scale. While this analysis suggests large scope for expanding agricultural groundwater use, the map derived from this study provides a simple way to assess the limits of groundwater-fed irrigation development. Further data measurements to capture local variations in hydrogeology will be required to refine the evaluation of recharge rates to support practical implementations. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater recharge; baseflow; local minimum digital filtering method; multiple linear regression; Mekong groundwater recharge; baseflow; local minimum digital filtering method; multiple linear regression; Mekong

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Lacombe, G.; Douangsavanh, S.; Vongphachanh, S.; Pavelic, P. Regional Assessment of Groundwater Recharge in the Lower Mekong Basin. Hydrology 2017, 4, 60.

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