Managed Aquifer Recharge in the North China Plain

Project summary

The long term objective of the project is to prepare experts and water managers in China with the best possible knowledge base in order to make informed decisions on large scale MAR implementation in the North China Plain (NCP) as a tool for alleviating water scarcity. The immediate objective of the project is to examine the potential of large scale MAR implementation in NCP through both a quantitative and qualitative assessment. This is achieved through three work packages dealing with 1) Regional scale and site specific integrated surface water-groundwater modelling as a tool for scenario testing and examination of upscaling potential of MAR, 2) Research in laboratories and at two specific MAR installations targeting degradation and treatment processes related to trace organic contaminants and pathogens, and 3) Communication of knowledge through stakeholder involvement, policy briefs and preparing a MAR technical guideline.

The project will contribute to the state-of-the-art by developing a regional scale coupledgroundwater-surface water model with improved boundary conditions and spatial representation by combining previous modelling efforts with flux and state estimates from satellite data. At the field sites degradation processes will be monitored along groundwater flow paths in a dual-stage framework by evaluating the water quality improvements of reclaimed water in shallow aquifers after river bank filtration (stage I) and after prolonged groundwater storage in confined aquifers (stage II). Laboratory experiments simulating the MAR environment will be conducted for specific contaminants.

Finally, stakeholder involvement will ensure knowledge sharing and development of MAR application strategies to be tested through scenario modelling. Throughout the project, joint research will be carried out on both modelling and field/laboratory work, which will build capacity and result in research publications.

Outputs

Midterm report
WP1) Two fully distributed surface water-groundwater models of the NCP and Baoding Plain have been developed and will in the latter part of the project form the basis for the MAR-scenario modelling. In addition, based on field data from the two field sites in Beijing and Jinan local groundwater flow models have been setup in HYDRUS3D and FEFLOW by Uni. of Jinan and BWSTI respectively.

WP2) New knowledge has been gained regarding the fate of a class of contaminant of emerging concerns, i.e., antibiotics, based on field observations and experiments, as well as laboratory batch and column experiments that span a wide range of conditions encountered during the riverbank filtration.

WP3) BWSTI is currently developing a MAR-guideline based on their experiences from the Beijing sites. Prof. Weiping Wang and Prof. Yan Zheng are also working on developing guidelines and collecting global experiences on MAR in connection with their involvement in the IAH-MAR Commission and UNESCO IHP.

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