Climate Change Effects on Groundwater Resources: A Global Synthesis of Findings and Recommendations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Climate Change Effects on Groundwater Resources

A Global Synthesis of Findings and Recommendations, 1st Edition

Edited by Holger Treidel, Jose Luis Martin-Bordes, Jason J. Gurdak

CRC Press

414 pages

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Climate change is expected to modify the hydrological cycle and affect freshwater resources. Groundwater is a critical source of fresh drinking water for almost half of the world’s population and it also supplies irrigated agriculture. Groundwater is also important in sustaining streams, lakes, wetlands, and associated ecosystems. But despite this, knowledge about the impact of climate change on groundwater quantity and quality is limited.

Direct impacts of climate change on natural processes (groundwater recharge, discharge, storage, saltwater intrusion, biogeochemical reactions, chemical fate and transport) may be exacerbated by human activities (indirect impacts). Increased groundwater abstraction, for example, may be needed in areas with unsustainable or contaminated surface water resources caused by droughts and floods. Climate change effects on groundwater resources are, therefore, closely linked to other global change drivers, including population growth, urbanization and land-use change, coupled with other socio-economic and political trends. Groundwater response to global changes is a complex function that depends on climate change and variability, topography, aquifer characteristics, vegetation dynamics, and human activities.

This volume contains case studies from diverse aquifer systems, scientific methods, and climatic settings that have been conducted globally under the framework of the UNESCO-IHP project Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC). This book presents a current and global synthesis of scientific findings and policy recommendations for scientists, water managers and policy makers towards adaptive management of groundwater sustainability under future climate change and variability.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

1.1 Rationale

1.2 Overview of the book


Tropical Climates

2 The impacts of climate change and rapid development on weathered crystalline rock aquifer systems in the humid tropics of sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from south-western Uganda

Richard Taylor & Callist Tindimugaya

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 Purpose and scope

2.1.2 Description of the study area: the River Mitano Basin

2.2 Results and discussion

2.2.1 Impacts of intensive groundwater abstraction

2.2.2 Impact of climate change on groundwater recharge

2.2.3 Uncertainty in climate change impacts on groundwater resources

2.3 Conclusions and recommendations



3 Groundwater recharge and storage variability in southern Mali

Chris M. Henry, Harm Demon, Diana M. Allen & Dirk Kirste

3.1 Introduction

3.1.1 Purpose and scope

3.1.2 Study area description: southern Mali

3.1.3 Methodology

3.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

3.2 Results and discussion

3.2.1 Groundwater levels and storage anomalies

3.2.2 Recharge modelling

3.3 Policy recommendations

3.4 Future work



4 Groundwater discharge as affected by land use change in small catchments: A hydrologic and economic case study in Central Brazil

Henrique M.L. Chaves, Ana Paula S. Camelo & Rejane M. Mendes

4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 Purpose and scope

4.1.2 Description of the area: the Pipiripau river basin

4.1.3 Relevance for GRAPHIC

4.2 Methodology

4.2.1 Correlating annual base flow discharge with basin land use intensity

4.2.2 Obtaining basin curve-number and base flow discharge from stream fl ow data

4.2.3 Empirical relationship between the base flow index and the normalized runoff coefficient

4.2.4 Estimating and valuing hydrological services resulting from land conservation scenarios

4.3 Results and discussion

4.3.1 Correlation between the dry season discharge and basin land use intensity

4.3.2 Base fl ow discharge hydrographs and basin curve-number (baseline condition)

4.3.3 Hydrological services resulting from land conservation scenarios

4.4 Policy recommendations

4.5 Future work


5 Effects of storm surges on groundwater resources, North Andros Island, Bahamas

John Bowleg & Diana M. Allen

5.1 Introduction

5.1.1 Purpose and scope

5.1.2 Study area description: North Andros Island

5.1.3 Methodology

5.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

5.2 Results and discussion

5.2.1 The well fi eld on North Andros

5.2.2 Hurricane Frances

5.2.3 Consequences of the storm surge in 2004

5.3 Policy recommendations

5.4 Future work



6 Reducing groundwater vulnerability in Carbonate Island countries in the Pacific

Ian White & Tony Falkland

6.1 Introduction

6.1.1 Purpose and scope

6.1.2 Study area description: Pacifi c Island countries

6.1.3 Methodology

6.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

6.2 Results, discussion, and policy recommendations

6.2.1 Characteristics of fresh groundwater lens

6.2.2 Threats to fresh groundwater

6.2.3 Reducing the vulnerability of groundwater systems

6.3 Future work



Dry (Arid and Semiarid) Climates

7 Groundwater resources increase in the Iullemmeden Basin, West Africa

Guillaume Favreau, Yahaya Nazoumou, Marc Leblanc, Abdou Guéro & Ibrahim Baba Goni

7.1 Introduction

7.1.1 Purpose and scope

7.1.2 Description of the study area: the Iullemmeden Basin

7.1.3 Methodology

7.1.4 Relevance to GRAPHIC

7.2 Results and discussion

7.2.1 Land use and land cover change

7.2.2 Increased runoff and erosion

7.2.3 Long-term changes in the water table

7.2.4 Impacts of climate change and land use changes on groundwater resources

7.3 Policy-relevent Recommendations

7.4 Future work



8 Climate change and its impacts on groundwater resources in Morocco: the case of the Souss-Massa basin

Lhoussaine Bouchaou, Tarik Tagma, Said Boutaleb, Mohamed Hssaisoune & Zine El Abidine El Morjani

8.1 Introduction

8.1.1 Purpose and scope

8.1.2 Description of the study area: the Souss-Massa basin

8.1.3 Methodology

8.1.4 Relevance to GRAPHIC

8.2 Results and discussion

8.2.1 Rainfall variation

8.2.2 Temperature and heat waves

8.2.3 Impacts on groundwater level

8.2.4 Impacts on groundwater quality

8.3 Policy recommendations

8.4 Future work



9 Vulnerability of groundwater quality to human activity and climate change and variability, High Plains aquifer, USA

Jason J. Gurdak, Peter B. McMahon & Breton W. Bruce

9.1 Introduction

9.1.1 Purpose and scope

9.1.2 Study area description: High Plains aquifer

9.1.3 Methodology

9.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

9.2 Results, discussion, and policy recommendations

9.2.1 Groundwater availability and sustainability are a function of quantity and quality

9.2.2 Conversion of rangeland to irrigated cropland affects water quality

9.2.3 Chemical transport to the water table follows fast and slow paths

9.2.4 The quality of shallow and deep groundwater are substantially different

9.2.5 Mixing of groundwater by high-capacity wells adversely affects water quality

9.2.6 Limited ability to naturally attenuate some contaminants

9.2.7 Interannual to multidecadal climate variability affects recharge and groundwater quality

9.2.8 The quality of most water produced by private, public-supply, and irrigation wells is suitable for the intended uses

9.3 Future work

9.4 Additional information



10 Groundwater change in the Murray basin from long-term in-situ monitoring and GRACE estimates

Marc Leblanc, Sarah Tweed, Guillaume Ramillien, Paul Tregoning, Frédéric Frappart, Adam Fakes & Ian Cartwright

10.1 Introduction

10.1.1 Purpose and scope

10.1.2 Study area description

10.1.3 Methodology

10.1.4 Relevance to GRAPHIC

10.2 Results and discussion

10.2.1 Long-term observations from in situ hydrographs

10.2.2 GRACE observations

10.2.3 Discussion

10.3 Policy-relevant recommendations

10.4 Future work



Temperate Climates

11 Impact assessment of combined climate and management scenarios on groundwater resources. The Inca-Sa Pobla hydrogeological unit (Majorca, Spain)

Lucila Candela, Wolf von Igel, F. Javier Elorza & Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez

11.1 Introduction

11.1.1 Description of the study area: the Inca-Sa Pobla hydrogeological unit

11.2 Methodology

11.2.1 Recharge estimation

11.2.2 Groundwater fl ow simulation model

11.2.3 Climate change scenarios. Statistical downscaling

11.2.4 Groundwater abstraction scenarios

11.2.5 Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis

11.2.6 Impact assessment by coupling climate and abstraction scenarios

11.3 Results and discussion

11.3.1 GCM and local predictions

11.3.2 Climate change impact on groundwater resources and natural recharge

11.3.3 Sensitivity analysis of water abstraction spatial location

11.3.4 Impact of combined climate change and management scenarios on spring flow rate

11.4 Conclusions and relevance for GRAPHIC


12 The effect of climate and anthropogenic sea level changes on Israeli coastal aquifers

Yoseph Yechieli, Uri Kafri & Eyal Shalev

12.1 Introduction

12.1.1 Description of the area: the Israeli Mediterranean and the Dead Sea coastal aquifer systems

12.1.2 Relevance for GRAPHIC

12.2 Methodology

12.2.1 Field studies

12.2.2 Numerical simulation of the Mediterranean coastal aquifer system

12.2.3 Numerical simulation of the Dead Sea aquifer system

12.3 Results and discussion

12.3.1 The Mediterranean coastal aquifer system

12.3.2 The Dead Sea coastal aquifer

12.4 Summary and conclusion

12.5 Policy recommendations



13 Land subsidence and sea-level rise threaten fresh water resources in the coastal groundwater system of the Rijnland water board, The Netherlands

Gualbert Oude Essink & Henk Kooi

13.1 Introduction

13.1.1 Relevance for GRAPHIC

13.1.2 Salinizing and freshening processes in Dutch coastal aquifers

13.1.3 Description of the area: the Rijnland Water Board

13.2 Description of the numerical method

13.2.1 Numerical code

13.2.2 Scenarios of sea-level rise and land subsidence

13.2.3 The 3D model

13.2.4 Calibration of the 3D model

13.3 Results and discussion

13.3.1 Salinization of the groundwater system

13.3.2 Compensating measures

13.4 Conclusions


14 Climate change impacts on valley-bottom aquifers in mountain regions: case studies from British Columbia, Canada

Diana M. Allen

14.1 Introduction

14.1.1 Purpose and scope

14.1.2 Study area description: valley- bottom aquifers in mountain regions

14.1.3 Methodology

14.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

14.2. Results and discussion

14.2.1 Okanagan Basin

14.2.2 Grand Forks

14.3 Policy recommendations

14.4 Future work



15 Possible effects of climate change on groundwater resources in the central region of Santa Fe Province, Argentina

Ofelia Tujchneider, Marta Paris, Marcela Pérez & Mónica D’Elía

15.1 Introduction

15.1.1 Purpose

15.1.2 Description of the area: the central region of Santa Fe Province

15.1.3 Methods

15.1.4 Relevance for GRAPHIC

15.2 Results and discussion

15.3 Policy recommendations

15.4 Future work



Continental Climates

16 Impacts of drought on groundwater depletion in the Beijing Plain, China

Yangxiao Zhou, Liya Wang, Jiurong Liu & Chao Ye

16.1 Introduction

16.1.1 Purpose and scope

16.1.2 Description of the study area: the Beijing Plain

16.2 Results and discussion

16.2.1 Detection of climate changes

16.2.2 Analysis of rapid decline of groundwater levels

16.2.3 Simulation of groundwater depletion under recent droughts

16.2.4 Options for mitigating further groundwater depletion

16.3 Management issues

16.3.1 Legal aspects

16.3.2 Institutional aspects

16.3.3 A drought management plan

16.4 Conclusions and recommendations



17 Possible effects of climate change on hydrogeological systems: results from research on Esker aquifers in northern Finland

Bjørn Kløve, Pertti Ala-aho, Jarkko Okkonen & Pekka Rossi

17.1 Introduction

17.1.1 Study area description: esker aquifers, northern Finland

17.1.2 Importance of esker aquifers in climate change studies

17.2 Results and discussion

17.2.1 How should we assess climate change and land- use changes?

17.2.2 Models used and our experiences from modelling

17.2.3 Impact of future climate change on hydrology and recharge

17.2.4 Surface water- groundwater interaction in lakes

17.2.5 Impact of peatland drainage

17.3 Policy recommendations

17.4 Future work



Polar Climates

18 Impacts of climate change on groundwater in permafrost areas: case study from Svalbard, Norway

Sylvi Haldorsen, Michael Heim & Martine van der Ploeg

18.1 Introduction

18.1.1 Purpose and scope

18.1.2 Area description

18.1.3 Methodology

18.1.4 Relevance to GRAPHIC

18.2 Results and discussion: Subpermafrost groundwater

18.2.1 Discontinuous permafrost

18.2.2 Continuous permafrost, case study Svalbard: results and discussion of previous work

18.3 Policy- relevant recommendations

18.4 Future work


Various Climates

19 Groundwater management in Asian cities under the pressures of human impacts and climate change

Makoto Taniguchi

19.1 Introduction

19.1.1 Relevance for GRAPHIC

19.2 Results and discussion

19.2.1 Satellite GRACE

19.2.2 Subsurface warming

19.2.3 Groundwater assessment as natural capacity

19.3 Policy recommendations

19.4 Conclusion and future work


20 Evaluation of future climate change impacts on European groundwater resources

Kevin Hiscock, Robert Sparkes & Alan Hodgson

20.1 Introduction

20.1.1 Description of the areas: aquifer units in northern and southern Europe

20.2 Methodology

20.3 Results and discussion

20.4 Conclusions

20.5 Future work and relevance to GRAPHIC



21 Sustainable groundwater management for large aquifer systems: tracking depletion rates from space

Sean Swenson & James Famiglietti

21.1 Introduction

21.1.1 Purpose and Scope

21.1.2 Description of the study area

21.1.3 Relevance to GRAPHIC

21.2 Methods and Results

21.2.1 Ground- based well measurements

21.2.2 Hydrologic Modelling

21.2.3 The GRACE- based approach: case studies from the Central Valley of California (USA) and northern India

21.4. A framework for global groundwater monitoring



22 Major science findings, policy recommendations, and future work

22.1 Overview

22.2 Tropical climates

22.2.1 Science fi ndings

22.2.2 Policy recommendations

22.3 Dry (arid and semiarid) climates

22.3.1 Science fi ndings

22.3.2 Policy recommendations

22.4 Temperate climates

22.4.1 Science fi ndings

22.4.2 Policy recommendations

22.5 Continental climates

22.5.1 Science fi ndings

22.5.2 Policy recommendations

22.6 Polar climates

22.6.1 Science fi ndings

22.6.2 Policy recommendations

22.7 Various climates

22.7.1 Science fi ndings

22.7.2 Policy recommendations

22.8 Future work


Contributing authors and contact information

Subject index

About the Editors

Holger Treidel is an environmental scientist and works as project coordinator with UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme in Paris. His work is related to the sustainable management of groundwater resources under the effects of climate change & variability, with particular focus on the complex challenges related to the management of transboundary aquifer systems. He is coordinating the UNESCO project Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC) and global and regional transboundary groundwater management projects in cooperation with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

Jose Luis Martin-Bordes is a civil engineer specialized in groundwater resources management and works as project coordinator in the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) within the Division of Water Sciences of UNESCO, Paris, France. He provides support to the coordination of the IHP Groundwater activities including the Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC), the International Shared Aquifer Resources Management Initiative (ISARM), Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems and Groundwater for Emergency Situations (GWES).

Jason J. Gurdak is Assistant Professor of hydrogeology in the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, California, USA. He and his research group address basic and applied questions about sustainable groundwater management, vadose zone and soilwater processes that affect recharge and contaminant transport, groundwater vulnerability to contamination and climate extremes, and the effects of climate change and interannual to multidecadal climate variability on water resources. Since 2004 he has served on the UNESCO project Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC) that promotes science, education, and awareness of the coupled effects of climate change and human stresses on global groundwater resources.

About the Series

IAH - International Contributions to Hydrogeology

The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) serves scientists, engineers and other professionals working in the field of groundwater resource planning, management and protection. IAH has two book series which are produced under the imprint of CRC Press in the Netherlands, part of the Taylor and Francis Group. IAH books have the common purpose of spreading the science and knowledge of hydrogeology and are products arising from IAH’s congresses and meetings, its commissions and networks, as well as a variety of other sources. Information is gathered from highly respected sources and include case studies, regional descriptions, analyses of sub-disciplines and outputs from major international programmes.

International Contributions to Hydrogeology
The second series, International Contributions to Hydrogeology, the ‘blue books’, includes monographs on sub-disciplines of hydrogeology as well as outlets for major international investigatory programmes and collections of papers within a broad theme of international interest.

Selected Papers
The first series is the Selected Papers, often referred to as the ‘green books’. These are collections of papers derived from Congress and other meetings which normally, but not always, were sponsored by IAH. They may also be a collection of papers derived from a programme of investigation that again need not necessarily have enjoyed direct IAH involvement.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply