Combining groundwater quality analysis and a numerical flow simulation for spatially establishing utilization strategies for groundwater and surface water in the Pingtung Plain

Cheng Shin Jang, Ching Fang Chen, Ching Ping Liang, Jui Sheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Overexploitation of groundwater is a common problem in the Pingtung Plain area of Taiwan, resulting in substantial drawdown of groundwater levels as well as the occurrence of severe seawater intrusion and land subsidence. Measures need to be taken to preserve these valuable groundwater resources. This study seeks to spatially determine the most suitable locations for the use of surface water on this plain instead of extracting groundwater for drinking, irrigation, and aquaculture purposes based on information obtained by combining groundwater quality analysis and a numerical flow simulation assuming the planning of manmade lakes and reservoirs to the increase of water supply. The multivariate indicator kriging method is first used to estimate occurrence probabilities, and to rank townships as suitable or unsuitable for groundwater utilization according to water quality standards for drinking, irrigation, and aquaculture. A numerical model of groundwater flow (MODFLOW) is adopted to quantify the recovery of groundwater levels in townships after model calibration when groundwater for drinking and agricultural demands has been replaced by surface water. Finally, townships with poor groundwater quality and significant increases in groundwater levels in the Pingtung Plain are prioritized for the groundwater conservation planning based on the combined assessment of groundwater quality and quantity. The results of this study indicate that the integration of groundwater quality analysis and the numerical flow simulation is capable of establishing sound strategies for joint groundwater and surface water use. Six southeastern townships are found to be suitable locations for replacing groundwater with surface water from manmade lakes or reservoirs to meet drinking, irrigation, and aquaculture demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-556
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume533
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Aquaculture
  • Drinking
  • Groundwater
  • Irrigation
  • MODFLOW
  • Multivariate indicator kriging

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