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Volume 4 Issue 3
Sep.  2016
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Article Contents
LIU Min, NIE Zhen-long, WANG Jin-zhe, et al. 2016: An assessment of the carrying capacity of groundwater resources in North China Plain region–Analysis of potential for development. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 4(3): 174-187.
Citation: LIU Min, NIE Zhen-long, WANG Jin-zhe, et al. 2016: An assessment of the carrying capacity of groundwater resources in North China Plain region–Analysis of potential for development. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 4(3): 174-187.

An assessment of the carrying capacity of groundwater resources in North China Plain region–Analysis of potential for development

  • Publish Date: 2016-09-28
  • Over-exploitation of groundwater in North China Plain (NCP) has resulted in a series of eco-environment problems. Sustainable use of groundwater resources in NCP, in particular management of groundwater resource carrying capacity (GRCC), faces an unprecedented challenge. Here we define GRCC, and a new assessment method is tentatively proposed and applied to evaluate GRCC based on the whole NCP, city administrative units and county administrative units. Our study divided the NCP into three zones, i.e. non-overexploited non-overloaded zone (NNZ), overexploited but non-overloaded zone (ONZ), and overexploited overloaded zone (OOZ). Results confirmed 27.6% of counties belonged to NNZ. However, 58.9% of counties and NCP as a whole belonged to ONZ, and 13.5% of counties belonged to OOZ. Spatially, NNZs were mainly distributed in Beijing, parts of eastern coastal cities and Henan Province. OOZs were mostly distributed in middle-eastern part of Cangzhou, parts of Dezhou, Tianjin and Binzhou, and the remaining areas belonged to ONZs. We suggest two approaches for enhancing GRCC, i) increasing the amount of available groundwater and ii) improving the water use efficiency. An increase of 11.0 billion cubic meters to the available groundwater levels combined with water use efficiency improvements up to 479 CNY per cubic meter of the world mean, the gross domestic product (GDP) sustained by groundwater in the NCP could reach 11.1 trillion CNY and maintain a 20 years of GDP development assuming the current rate of growth.
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