Assessment of rice hydraulic loading impacts on groundwater and salinity levels

Shahbaz Khan, Tariq Rana, Jason Carroll, Hamza Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract This paper describes the impact of ricehydraulic loading (percentage area under rice crop) ongroundwater levels and salinity in the Murrumbidgee irrigationarea (MIA), Australia using a MODFLOW-basedmodelling approach. The model simulations show that thegroundwater levels will be in equilibrium after a fall ofapproximately 1 m under most of the areas, however, thegroundwater salinity levels will rise by more than 1,000ls/cm in most parts of irrigation area. If the rice growingarea is reduced by 50 and 75%, there can be a net decline ingroundwater levels during the first 2 years and then a newquasi-equilibrium will be established. To downscale theseresults at the farm level, SWAGMAN Farm model inconjunction with groundwater outflow rates obtained froma three-dimensional MODFLOW model was applied fordetermining net recharge rates under rice for different areaswithin the MIA. The highest net recharge during 2005'2006 season was 0.84 ML/ha (84 mm) in parts of theirrigation system, whereas the average net recharge due torice hydraulic loading for the whole MIA during 2005'2006 season was estimated as 0.34 ML/ha (34 mm).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalPaddy and Water Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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