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Assessing the restoration time of surface water and groundwater systems under groundwater pumping

Seo, S. B., Mahinthakumar, G., Sankarasubramanian, A., Kumar, M.
Stochastic environmental research and risk assessment 2018 v.32 no.9 pp. 2741-2759
climate, drought, groundwater, groundwater extraction, hydrologic factors, hydrologic models, soil water, stream flow, streams, surface water, uncertainty, watersheds, weather forecasting
Since surface water and groundwater systems are fully coupled and integrated, increased groundwater withdrawal during drought may reduce groundwater discharges into the stream, thereby prolonging both systems’ recovery from drought. To analyze watershed response to basin-level groundwater pumping, we propose a modelling framework to understand the resiliency of surface water and groundwater systems using an integrated hydrologic model under transient pumping. The proposed framework incorporates uncertainties in initial conditions to develop robust estimates of restoration times of both surface water and groundwater and quantifies how pumping impacts state variables such as soil moisture. Groundwater pumping impacts over a watershed were also analyzed under different pumping volumes and different potential climate scenarios. Our analyses show that groundwater restoration time is more sensitive to variability in climate forcings as opposed to changes in pumping volumes. After the cessation of pumping, streamflow recovers quickly in comparison to groundwater, which has higher persistence. Pumping impacts on various hydrologic variables were also discussed. Potential for developing optimal conjunctive management plans using seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts is also discussed.