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01.03.2011 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2011

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2011

Groundwater simulation using a numerical model under different water resources management scenarios in an arid region of China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 5/2011
Autoren:
Shaoyuan Feng, Zailin Huo, Shaozhong Kang, Zejun Tang, Fengxin Wang

Abstract

Groundwater plays an important role in the economic development and ecological balance of the arid area of northwest China. Unfortunately, human activity, for example groundwater extraction for irrigation, have resulted in excessive falls in groundwater level, and aquifer overdraft in the oasis, disrupting the natural equilibrium of these systems. A groundwater numerical model for Minqin oasis, an arid area of northwest China, was developed using FEFLOW software to simulate regional groundwater changes under transient conditions. The vertical recharge and discharge (source/sink terms) of the groundwater models were determined from land-use data and irrigation systems for the different crops in the different sub-areas. The calibrated model was used to predict the change for the period from 2000 to 2020 under various water resources management scenarios. Simulated results showed that under current water resources management conditions groundwater levels at Minqin oasis are in a continuous drawdown trend and groundwater depth will be more than 30 m by 2020. Reducing the irrigation area is more effective than water-saving irrigation to reduce groundwater decline at Minqin oasis and the annual groundwater budget would be −0.978 × 108 m3. In addition, water-diversion projects can also reduce the drawdown trend of groundwater at Minqin oasis, and the groundwater budget in the Huqu sub-area would be in zero equilibrium if the annual inflow into the oasis was enhanced to 2.51 × 108 m3. Furthermore, integrative water resources management including water-diversion projects, water-saving irrigation, and reducing the irrigation area are the most effective measures for solving groundwater problems at Minqin oasis.

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