Special Issue "Impacts of Climate on Renewable Groundwater Resources and/or Stream-Aquifer Interactions"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francisco Javier Alcalá
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geological Survey of Spain, Madrid, Spain
Interests: Techniques and computational applications for modelling of groundwater dynamics at different spatiotemporal scales and climate conditions; applied near-surface geophysics; isotope and chemical tracing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. David Pulido-Velázquez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Research on Geological Resources, Geological Survey of Spain, Granada 18006, Spain
Interests: global change and climate change impacts; adaptation strategies; remote sensing; groundwater; vulnerability; snow hydrology; drought and scarcity; management models; stream–aquifer interaction; conjunctive use; decision support systems; economy of water resources
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Luis Ribeiro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: groundwater numerical and stochastic models; groundwater and global change; groundwater dependent ecosystems; integrated management of water resources; water in ancestral civilizations

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The evaluation of aquifer recharge is essential to the quantitative evaluation of renewable groundwater resources and stream–aquifer interactions that is required to implement proper water policies at different spatial and temporal scales. However, aquifer recharge is a broad concept that includes natural sources from precipitation, aquifer transference, losing rivers, and snow melting; non-premeditated human-induced sources from irrigation and urban returns and losing channels and dams; and premeditated human-routed sources from different artificial infiltration techniques. Weather–land attributes, human water requirements, and global climatic forces determine the magnitude of natural sources, the existence of additional human-induced sources when water is used, and the need for human-routed sources in contexts of water scarcity.

A temporal perspective on how climate influences aquifer recharge and, therefore, renewable groundwater resources and surfacewater–groundwater interactions in general is needed. Over the last millennium, climate has determined the renewability of current groundwater resources in many drylands of the Earth. Current global climatic forces, which include the increasing influence of droughts and floods in different terrestrial latitudes, condition future water resources management policies. Finally, global climate scenarios predict the thresholds for future global water availability.

In this broad ‘aquifer recharge–climate’ framework, studies concerning climate influences on all aquifer recharge types that occur over different aquifer, catchment, and landscape typologies at different spatial and temporal scales of observation are welcome. Studies concerning climate influences on human-induced recharge and/or surfacewater–groundwater interactions are welcome. The analysis of climatic patterns and trends, which are drivers of the change in natural aquifer recharge from precipitation, will also be welcome.

Dr. Francisco Javier Alcalá
Dr. David Pulido-Velázquez
Dr. Luis Ribeiro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Natural, non-premeditated, and premeditated aquifer recharge
  • Impacts of climate scenarios
  • Available renewable groundwater resources
  • Surfacewater–groundwater interaction
  • Water resource management policies

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Impacts of Climate on Renewable Groundwater Resources and/or Stream–Aquifer Interactions
Water 2020, 12(12), 3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123480 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 489
Abstract
The evaluation of aquifer recharge is essential to make a quantitative evaluation of renewable groundwater resources required to implement proper water policies aimed at maintaining stream–aquifer interactions, guaranteeing water supply to human activities, and preserving groundwater-dependent ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales [...] Read more.
The evaluation of aquifer recharge is essential to make a quantitative evaluation of renewable groundwater resources required to implement proper water policies aimed at maintaining stream–aquifer interactions, guaranteeing water supply to human activities, and preserving groundwater-dependent ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales and climate conditions [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Using the Turnover Time Index to Identify Potential Strategic Groundwater Resources to Manage Droughts within Continental Spain
Water 2020, 12(11), 3281; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113281 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 570
Abstract
The management of droughts is a challenging issue, especially in water scarcity areas, where this problem will be exacerbated in the future. The aim of this paper is to identify potential groundwater (GW) bodies with reduced vulnerability to pumping, which can be used [...] Read more.
The management of droughts is a challenging issue, especially in water scarcity areas, where this problem will be exacerbated in the future. The aim of this paper is to identify potential groundwater (GW) bodies with reduced vulnerability to pumping, which can be used as buffer values to define sustainable conjunctive use management during droughts. Assuming that the long term natural mean reserves are maintained, a preliminary assessment of GW vulnerability can be obtained by using the natural turnover time (T) index, defined in each GW body as the storage capacity (S) divided by the recharge (R). Aquifers where R is close to S are extremely vulnerable to exploitation. This approach will be applied in the 146 Spanish GW bodies at risk of not achieving the Water Framework Directive (WFD objectives, to maintain a good quantitative status. The analyses will be focused on the impacts of the climate drivers on the mean T value for Historical and potential future scenarios, assuming that the Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) changes and the management strategies will allow maintenance of the long term mean natural GW body reserves. Around 26.9% of these GW bodies show low vulnerability to pumping, when viewing historical T values over 100 years, this percentage growing to 33.1% in near future horizon values (until 2045). The results show a significant heterogeneity. The range of variability for the historical T values is around 3700 years, which also increases in the near future to 4200 years. These T indices will change in future horizons, and, therefore, the potential of GW resources to undergo sustainable strategies to adapt to climate change will also change accordingly, making it necessary to apply adaptive management strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climate-Dependent Groundwater Discharge on Semi-Arid Inland Ephemeral Wetlands: Lessons from Holocene Sediments of Lagunas Reales in Central Spain
Water 2020, 12(7), 1911; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071911 - 04 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
Wetlands are environments whose water balance is highly sensitive to climate change and human action. This sensitivity has allowed us to explore the relationships between surface water and groundwater in the long term as their sediments record all these changes and go beyond [...] Read more.
Wetlands are environments whose water balance is highly sensitive to climate change and human action. This sensitivity has allowed us to explore the relationships between surface water and groundwater in the long term as their sediments record all these changes and go beyond the instrumental/observational period. The Lagunas Reales, in central Spain, is a semi-arid inland wetland endangered by both climate and human activity. The reconstruction of the hydroclimate and water levels from sedimentary facies, as well as the changes in the position of the surface water and groundwater via the record of their geochemical fingerprint in the sediments, has allowed us to establish a conceptual model for the response of the hydrological system (surface water and groundwater) to climate. Arid periods are characterized by low levels of the deeper saline groundwater and by a greater influence of the surface freshwater. A positive water balance during wet periods allows the discharge of the deeper saline groundwater into the wetland, causing an increase in salinity. These results contrast with the classical model where salinity increases were related to greater evaporation rates and this opens up a new way of understanding the evolution of the hydrology of wetlands and their resilience to natural and anthropogenic changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Ecosystem Resilience Concept Applied to Hydrogeological Systems: A General Approach
Water 2020, 12(6), 1824; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061824 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 761
Abstract
We have witnessed the great changes that hydrogeological systems are facing in the last decades: rivers that have dried up; wetlands that have disappeared, leaving their buckets converted into farmland; and aquifers that have been intensively exploited for years, among others. Humans have [...] Read more.
We have witnessed the great changes that hydrogeological systems are facing in the last decades: rivers that have dried up; wetlands that have disappeared, leaving their buckets converted into farmland; and aquifers that have been intensively exploited for years, among others. Humans have caused the most part of these results that can be worsened by climate change, with delayed effects on groundwater quantity and quality. The consequences are negatively impacting ecosystems and dependent societies. The concept of resilience has not been extensively used in the hydrogeological research, and it can be a very useful concept that can improve the understanding and management of these systems. The aim of this work is to briefly discuss the role of resilience in the context of freshwater systems affected by either climate or anthropic actions as a way to increase our understanding of how anticipating negative changes (transitions) may contribute to improving the management of the system and preserving the services that it provides. First, the article presents the basic concepts applied to hydrogeological systems from the ecosystem’s resilience approach. Second, the factors controlling for hydrogeological systems’ responses to different impacts are commented upon. Third, a case study is analyzed and discussed. Finally, the useful implications of the concept are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Coupling SWAT Model and CMB Method for Modeling of High-Permeability Bedrock Basins Receiving Interbasin Groundwater Flow
Water 2020, 12(3), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030657 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
This paper couples the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and the chloride mass balance (CMB) method to improve the modeling of streamflow in high-permeability bedrock basins receiving interbasin groundwater flow (IGF). IGF refers to the naturally occurring groundwater flow beneath a [...] Read more.
This paper couples the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and the chloride mass balance (CMB) method to improve the modeling of streamflow in high-permeability bedrock basins receiving interbasin groundwater flow (IGF). IGF refers to the naturally occurring groundwater flow beneath a topographic divide, which indicates that baseflow simulated by standard hydrological models may be substantially less than its actual magnitude. Identification and quantification of IGF is so difficult that most hydrological models use convenient simplifications to ignore it, leaving us with minimal knowledge of strategies to quantify it. The Castril River basin (CRB) was chosen to show this problematic and to propose the CMB method to assess the magnitude of the IGF contribution to baseflow. In this headwater area, which has null groundwater exploitation, the CMB method shows that yearly IGF hardly varies and represents about 51% of mean yearly baseflow. Based on this external IGF appraisal, simulated streamflow was corrected to obtain a reduction in the percent bias of the SWAT model, from 52.29 to 22.40. Corrected simulated streamflow was used during the SWAT model calibration and validation phases. The Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) coefficient and the logarithmic values of NSE (lnNSE) were used for overall SWAT model performance. For calibration and validation, monthly NSE was 0.77 and 0.80, respectively, whereas daily lnNSE was 0.81 and 0.64, respectively. This methodological framework, which includes initial system conceptualization and a new formulation, provides a reproducible way to deal with similar basins, the baseflow component of which is strongly determined by IGF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Approaches for Estimating Daily River Leakage from Arid Ephemeral Streams
Water 2020, 12(2), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020499 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Despite the significance of river leakage to riparian ecosystems in arid/semi-arid regions, a true understanding and the accurate quantification of the leakage processes of ephemeral rivers in these regions remain elusive. In this study, the patterns of river infiltration and the associated controlling [...] Read more.
Despite the significance of river leakage to riparian ecosystems in arid/semi-arid regions, a true understanding and the accurate quantification of the leakage processes of ephemeral rivers in these regions remain elusive. In this study, the patterns of river infiltration and the associated controlling factors in an approximately 150-km section of the Donghe River (lower Heihe River, China) were revealed using a combination of field investigations and modelling techniques. The results showed that from 21 April 2010 to 7 September 2012, river water leakage accounted for 33% of the total river runoff in the simulated segments. A sensitivity analysis showed that the simulated infiltration rates were most sensitive to the aquifer hydraulic conductivity and the maximum evapotranspiration (ET) rate. However, the river leakage rate, i.e., the ratio of the leakage volume to the total runoff volume, of a single runoff event relies heavily on the total runoff volume and river flow rate. In addition to the hydraulic parameters of riverbeds, the characteristics of ET parameters are equally important for quantifying the flux exchange between arid ephemeral streams and underlying aquifers. Coupled surface/groundwater models, which aim to estimate river leakage, should consider riparian zones because these areas play a dominant role in the formation of leakage from the river for recharging via ET. The results of this paper can be used as a reference for water resource planning and management in regulated river basins to help maintain riparian ecosystems in arid regions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Potential Impacts of Future Climate Change Scenarios on Ground Subsidence
Water 2020, 12(1), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010219 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
In this work, we developed a new method to assess the impact of climate change (CC) scenarios on land subsidence related to groundwater level depletion in detrital aquifers. The main goal of this work was to propose a parsimonious approach that could be [...] Read more.
In this work, we developed a new method to assess the impact of climate change (CC) scenarios on land subsidence related to groundwater level depletion in detrital aquifers. The main goal of this work was to propose a parsimonious approach that could be applied for any case study. We also evaluated the methodology in a case study, the Vega de Granada aquifer (southern Spain). Historical subsidence rates were estimated using remote sensing techniques (differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar, DInSAR). Local CC scenarios were generated by applying a bias correction approach. An equifeasible ensemble of the generated projections from different climatic models was also proposed. A simple water balance approach was applied to assess CC impacts on lumped global drawdowns due to future potential rainfall recharge and pumping. CC impacts were propagated to drawdowns within piezometers by applying the global delta change observed with the lumped assessment. Regression models were employed to estimate the impacts of these drawdowns in terms of land subsidence, as well as to analyze the influence of the fine-grained material in the aquifer. The results showed that a more linear behavior was observed for the cases with lower percentage of fine-grained material. The mean increase of the maximum subsidence rates in the considered wells for the future horizon (2016–2045) and the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenario 8.5 was 54%. The main advantage of the proposed method is its applicability in cases with limited information. It is also appropriate for the study of wide areas to identify potential hot spots where more exhaustive analyses should be performed. The method will allow sustainable adaptation strategies in vulnerable areas during drought-critical periods to be assessed. Full article
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