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 progress has been on the finalization of a journal publication on better quantification of boundary fluxes to the North China plain. The NCP groundwater flow model has been finalized and used for testing water management scenarios, including MAR scenarios. A similar model has been developed for the Baoding plain area, with more focus on the geological structures.

WP2 progress has been on the continued sampling and analysis of river, river bank and groundwater water quality at the sites at Beiyun River, Baoding Plain and Yufuhe river. Water quality analysis covers a range of contaminants such as PAHs, TDS, sulfate, DOC and inorganic nitrogen and emerging contaminates such as antibiotics and their metabolites.

WP3 progress has focused on better interaction with the SSC partners through information meetings and joint arrangement of a large stakeholder workshop on MAR in China with 120 participants. Here the MAR-China results were presented along with presentations from SSC partners and other key stakeholders. In addition, BWSTI has completed a MAR guideline for Beijing, which is a major output.

Online project progress meetings have been held on Jun. 25th 2020 and Nov. 10th 2020 including all project partners. In addition, numerous bilateral WP meetings have been held primarily in WP1 and WP2 between GEUS and SUSTECH.

The project has published 12 papers in international per-reviewed journals (listed under publications), two book chapters and 13 conference abstracts.

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