Modeling the impact of groundwater harvesting on the hydro-salinity of a saline catchment in southeastern Australia

Shahbaz Khan, Muhammad Nadeem Asghar, Tariq Rana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recharge to a saline, unconfined shallow-water-table aquifer is normally considered as an irrecoverable loss of water, but such thinking could be reviewed empirically. The use of an appropriate groundwater harvesting system does not only provide an opportunity to recover this lost water, but can also help in catchment salinity management and improvement. Agricultural-based land-drainage systems such as those that use serial biological concentration (SBC) of salts, provide examples of such harvesting methods. The impact of groundwater harvesting has been assessed on the hydro-salinity of a saline catchment in southeastern Australia through modelling. For both the below average rainfall and very wet years, the 'do nothing' scenario resulted in increasing salinization in the catchment. However, after introducing a SBC system, groundwater salinity showed a decreasing trend while hydraulic heads tended to stabilize around the depth of subsurface collector wells. However, for a successful groundwater harvesting system, proper understanding of the groundwater flows and salt mobilization associated with a catchment is necessary. The outcomes of this modelling study have the potential to address similar issues (salinization) and/or needs (water harvesting) existing elsewhere in the world, particularly in semi-arid regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-726
Number of pages14
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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