I am happy to see the blog for the European Geosciences Union (EGU) Hydrological Sciences Section online. Together with Maria-Helena Ramos, Bettina Schaefli, Giulia Zuecco, and Wouter Berghuijs, I will organize this new platform for the hydrological sciences community. We aim for this blog to be driven by the EGU HS section and we thus welcome suggestions for blog posts and contributions from everyone interested. You have an idea? Then, please contact me and we will work on adding it to the list of future blog posts. Find more info about the motivation and scope of the blog here.
Multi-tracer study reveals groundwater pollution from urban waste water in rivers
During my visit at the Center for Agricultural Resources Research in Shijiazhuang, Hebei last summer, I got involved in the work by master student, Meijia Zhu, who gathered an impressive hydrochemical data set in the Xiong’an New Area. I learned that this area will provide new housing for the ever growing region around the Chinese capital. However, the North China Plain, where these developments take place is characterized by a dramatic drop in the groundwater levels over the last decades due to its over consumption; mainly for agricultural use. Due to the water scarcity related to the groundwater mining, rivers, are running dry. To counter this development water gets regularly transferred from other basins (see Figure 4). Though, often, the river flow is dominated by sewage water from urban areas.
The work lead by Meijia Zhu now shows that this sewage water is not only affecting the water quality of Lake Baiyangdian, largest freshwater lake, but it also aggravates the underlaying groundwater body. We see, that the Chloride and electrical conductivity increases along the groundwater underlying studied river that flows into the Lake Baiyangdian (see Figure 6). We used end-member mixing analysis to show the ratio groundwater recharge sourced from either rainfall, lake water, or river water (see Figure 9).
The study shows clearly how the groundwater body is not only threatened by depletion, but that the combination of over use and sewage disposal into rivers affects the groundwater challenging the water supply of the new developing Xiong’an New Area.
Figure 9. d18O values versus Cl- concentrations of the groundwater and end-members. The mean values of Cl□ concentration and stable isotopes of the Fu River water in seasons without the influence of the precipitation and transferred water (samples collected in January 2018 and March 2018) were taken as values of one end-member that reflects sewage influence.
The manuscript to this study is openly available here.
Zhu M, Wang S, Kong X, Zheng W, Feng W, Zhang X, Yuan R, Song X, Sprenger M (2019): Interaction of Surface Water and Groundwater Influenced by Groundwater Over-Extraction, Waste Water Discharge and Water Transfer in Xiong'an New Area, China, Water, 11(3), 539, doi: 10.3390/w11030539.
Special Issue in HESS on "Water, isotope and solute fluxes in the soil–plant–atmosphere interface: investigations from the canopy to the root zone"
We are welcoming contributions to a special issue in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. The idea to this special issue arose out of successful conference sessions held at EGU and AGU. This special issue will bring together the vibrant ecohydrological community addressing a better understanding of hydrological processes taking place from the canopy to the root zone. Many of these dynamic interactions between vegetation and soil affecting water, isotope and solute fluxes are not yet well understood. The special issue should therefore further address open questions and new opportunities within the ecohydrological community regarding methodological developments such as the analysis of stable isotope, soil moisture, throughfall or solute dynamics. We keep the submission open for all submissions within its scope. The editors for this special issue are Natalie Orlowski, Matthias Sprenger, Josie Geris, Pilar Llorens, Lixin Wang, and Miriam Coenders-Gerrits. Please contact us in case you have questions regarding manuscript submissions.