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Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1301–1324 | Cite as

Review: Safe and sustainable groundwater supply in China

  • Yanxin Wang
  • Chunmiao Zheng
  • Rui Ma
Paper
  • 562 Downloads

Abstract

Exploitation of groundwater has greatly increased since the 1970s to meet the increased water demand due to fast economic development in China. Correspondingly, the regional groundwater level has declined substantially in many areas of China. Water sources are scarce in northern and northwestern China, and the anthropogenic pollution of groundwater has worsened the situation. Groundwater containing high concentrations of geogenic arsenic, fluoride, iodine, and salinity is widely distributed across China, which has negatively affected safe supply of water for drinking and other purposes. In addition to anthropogenic contamination, the interactions between surface water and groundwater, including seawater intrusion, have caused deterioration of groundwater quality. The ecosystem and geo-environment have been severely affected by the depletion of groundwater resources. Land subsidence due to excessive groundwater withdrawal has been observed in more than 50 cities in China, with a maximum accumulated subsidence of 2–3 m. Groundwater-dependent ecosystems are being degraded due to changes in the water table or poor groundwater quality. This paper reviews these changes in China, which have occurred under the impact of rapid economic development. The effects of economic growth on groundwater systems should be monitored, understood and predicted to better protect and manage groundwater resources for the future.

Keywords

China Groundwater resources Hydrochemistry Groundwater/surface-water relations Groundwater sustainability 

Revue: Approvisionnement en eaux souterraines sûr et durable en Chine

Résumé

L’exploitation des eaux souterraines a fortement augmenté depuis les années 1970 pour satisfaire la demande croissante en eau à cause du développement économique rapide en Chine. En conséquence, le niveau régional des eaux souterraines a considérablement diminué dans de nombreuses régions de Chine. Les sources d’eau sont rares dans le nord et nord-ouest de la Chine, et la pollution d’origine humaine des eaux souterraines a de plus aggravé la situation. Des eaux souterraines avec des concentrations élevées en contaminants géogéniques tels que l’arsenic, le fluore, l’iode et la salinité sont largement répandues en Chine, ce qui a eu des répercussions négatives sur l’approvisionnement en eau potable et à d’autres fins. En plus des contaminations anthropiques, les interactions entre les eaux de surface et les eaux souterraines, y compris les intrusions d’eau marine, ont causé la dégradation de la qualité des eaux souterraines. Les écosystèmes et les environnements géologiques ont été sévèrement affectés par la diminution des ressources en eaux souterraines. L’affaissement des terrains résultant des prélèvements excessifs des eaux souterraines est. observé dans plus de 50 villes en Chine, avec un maximum de subsidence cumulé de 2 à 3 m. Les écosystèmes dépendant des eaux souterraines sont en train d’être dégradés à cause des modifications des niveaux d’eau souterraine ou d’une faible qualité des eaux souterraines. Cet article passe en revue ces modifications qui prennent place en Chine, résultant de l’impact du rapide développement économique. Les effets de la croissance économique sur les systèmes hydrogéologiques devraient être surveillés, compris et prévus afin d’assurer une meilleure protection et gestion des ressources en eaux souterraines pour le futur.

Revisión: Suministro seguro y sostenible de agua subterránea en China

Resumen

En China la explotación del agua subterránea ha aumentado considerablemente desde la década de 1970 para satisfacer la mayor demanda de agua debido al rápido desarrollo económico. En consecuencia, el nivel regional del agua subterránea se ha profundizado sustancialmente en muchas áreas de China. Las fuentes de agua son escasas en el norte y el noroeste de China, y la contaminación antropogénica del agua subterránea ha empeorado la situación. El agua subterránea que contiene altas concentraciones de arsénico, fluoruro, yodo y salinidad geogénica está ampliamente distribuida, lo cual afectó negativamente el suministro seguro de agua para beber y para otros fines. Además de la contaminación antropogénica, las interacciones entre las aguas superficiales y subterráneas, incluida la intrusión de agua de mar, han causado el deterioro de la calidad del agua subterránea. El ecosistema y el ambiente ecológico se han visto gravemente afectados por el agotamiento de los recursos de agua subterránea. La subsidencia del terreno debido a la extracción excesiva de agua subterránea se ha observado en más de 50 ciudades en China, con un hundimiento máximo acumulado de 2–3 m. Los ecosistemas dependientes del agua subterránea se están degradando debido a los cambios en el nivel freático o la mala calidad del agua subterránea. Este documento revisa estos cambios en China, que se han producido bajo el impacto del rápido desarrollo económico. Los efectos del crecimiento económico en los sistemas de agua subterránea deben ser monitoreados, comprendidos y pronosticados para proteger y gestionar mejor los recursos de agua subterránea en el futuro.

综述:中国的安全及可持续的地下水供水

摘要

20世纪70年代以来地下水的开采大大增加以满足中国经济发展中日益增长的用水需求。因此,在中国许多地区区域地下水位大幅下降。中国北部和西北部水源短缺,人为因素造成的地下水污染使局势进一步恶化。含地球成因的浓度很高的砷、氟化物、碘化物及盐分的地下水广泛分布全国,影响着饮用和其它用途的安全供水。除了人为因素的污染,地表水和地下水的相互作用,包括海水入侵导致地下水水质恶化。地下水资源的枯竭严重影响生态系统和地质环境。在中国50多个城市都发现了地下水过度开采引起的地面沉降,累积最大沉降量2–3 m。由于水位变化或者地下水水质较差,致使依赖于地下水的生态系统正在退化。本文论述了在经济快速发展影响下中国的这些变化。应当监测、了解和预测经济增长对地下水系统的影响以便更好地将来保护和管理地下水资源。

Revisão: Abastecimento seguro e sustentável de águas subterrâneas na China

Resumo

A explotação de águas subterrâneas tem tido grande crescimento desde os anos 70 para suprir o aumento de demanda, causada pelo rápido desenvolvimento econômico na China. Consequentemente, o nível regional de águas subterrâneas diminuiu substancialmente em muitas áreas da China. As fontes de água são escassas no norte e no noroeste da China, e a poluição antrópica das águas subterrâneas piorou essa situação. Águas subterrâneas com altas concentrações de arsênico, flúor, iodo e salinidade geogênicos são amplamente distribuídas na China, afetando negativamente a segurança no abastecimento de água para consumo e outros fins. Além da contaminação antrópica, as interações entre as águas superficiais e subterrâneas, incluindo a intrusão da água do mar, causaram a deterioração da qualidade das águas subterrâneas. O ecossistema e o geoambiente foram severamente afetados pelo rebaixamento dos recursos hídricos subterrâneos. A subsidência da terra devido à retirada excessiva de águas subterrâneas foi observada em mais de 50 cidades na China, com uma subsidência máxima acumulada de 2 a 3 m. Os ecossistemas dependentes das águas subterrâneas estão sofrendo degradação causada tanto pelas alterações no lençol freático como pela má qualidade das águas subterrâneas. Este artigo analisa essas mudanças na China, que ocorreram sob o impacto do rápido desenvolvimento econômico. Os efeitos do crescimento econômico nos sistemas de águas subterrâneas devem ser monitorados, compreendidos e preditos para proteger e gerenciar os recursos de águas subterrâneas para o futuro.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported by the Grant for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No.41521001). We thank Prof. Xueyu Lin of Jilin University for her invaluable advice and continuous support. Under her leadership, we implemented the research project on Hydrogeology Discipline Development Strategies supported by NSFC and Chinese Academy of Science (Grant No. L1724016), together with our colleagues across China. As a matter of fact, this special issue is dedicated to her and her contemporaries of the Chinese community of hydrogeologists, to express our sincerely gratitude to them as our teachers for their great contributions to the development of hydrogeology in China.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology & School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringSouth University of Science and Technology of ChinaShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China

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