On the Environmental Efficiency of Water Storage: the Case of a Conjunctive use of Ground and Rainwater
Rainwater harvesting, consisting in collecting runoff from precipitation, has been widely developed to stop groundwater declines and even raise water tables. However, this expected environmental effect is not self-evident. We show in a simple setting that the success of this conjunctive use depends on whether the runoff rate is above a threshold value. Moreover, the bigger the storage capacity, the higher the runoff rate must be to obtain an environmentally efficient system. We also extend the model to include other hydrological parameters and ecological damages, which respectively increase and decrease the environmental efficiency of rainwater harvesting.
KeywordsGroundwater management Rainwater harvesting Optimal control Conjunctive use
The authors would like to thank the advisory editor of Environmental Modeling & Assessment for helpful comments on an early version of this paper. The usual disclaimer of course applies. Support from the Labex AMSE (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02) is gratefully acknowledged.
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