Managed Aquifer Recharge in the North China Plain


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 coupled groundwater-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.


First-year report:

WP1: Most work in WP1 on regional scale modelling has focused on the use of satellite remote sensing techniques to estimate the actual evapotranspiration in the NCP. This has resulted in a unique gridded dataset on monthly evapotranspiration at 1km resolution. The aim for 2019 is to utilize this in a quantitative estimation of water use for irrigation, which is the key component in the anthropogenic water balance of the NCP.

WP2: In 2018 initial analysis of existing data from the two MAR sites in Beijing and Jinan has been conducted and presented at the first project workshop in Sept. 2018. During the workshop, all project partners visited the two sites for field inspection and discussions.

WP3: The weeks long kickoff workshop was initiated with a meeting in Beijing with all project partners and key stakeholders and other competent researchers from China, Australia and the UK. After visits to the two fieldsites the week ended with an internal project workshop at SUSTech in Shenzhen.