Title

Spatial assessment of conjunctive water harvesting potential in watershed systems

Publication Date

2007

Journal or Book Title

JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY

Abstract

Water harvesting can be used to minimize water loss and to augment water supplies in watershed systems. This effort is increasingly being recognized as critical in regions experiencing urbanization and facing uneven water supplies. Water harvesting requires a careful assessment of geographic locations in a watershed and evaluation of surface and groundwater hydrology. In this paper, we develop a spatially explicit method to evaluate costs of harvesting and potential benefits in water harvesting in the Taunton River Watershed in Eastern Massachusetts, USA. A spatial analysis is used to assess surface storage and groundwater recharge potentials in developed and undeveloped regions of the watershed. Distributed parameters used in the analysis include runoff coefficients, land use, soil properties, precipitation, aquifer, and land price. Prioritization maps were developed to characterize conjunctive harvesting potential that is based on benefits and costs. The results demonstrate that a spatially variable harvesting strategy can be used to minimize runoff loss and to augment water supplies. The potential harvest areas were clustered in specific locations that satisfy feasibility and economic criteria. In some subwatersheds, potential harvest locations were dispersed. A spatially variable approach that incorporates economic criteria to hydrologic assessment can be used to enhance efficiency related to water harvest and supply management. Given the increasing demand for clean water, a distributed and conjunctive harvesting strategy could be effective in several urbanizing watersheds. The model has potential for further extension into complex situations of biophysical and socioeconomic conditions at watershed level.

DOI

10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.09.024

Volume

334

Issue

1-2

Pages

39-52

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