Quantifying the city-scale impacts of impervious surfaces on groundwater recharge potential: An urban application of WRF–Hydro

Pasquier, Ulysse, Vahmani, Pouya and Jones, Andrew D. (2022) Quantifying the city-scale impacts of impervious surfaces on groundwater recharge potential: An urban application of WRF–Hydro. Water, 14 (19). ISSN 2073-4441

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Decades of urbanization have created sprawling, complex, and vulnerable cities, half of which are located in water-scarce areas. With the looming effects of climate change, including increasing droughts and water shortages, there is an urgent need to better understand how urbanization impacts the water cycle at city scale. Impervious surfaces disrupt the natural flow of water, affecting groundwater recharge in water-scarce cities, such as Los Angeles, looking to harness local water resources. In the face of growing water demand, informing on opportunities to maximize potential groundwater recharge can help increase cities’ resilience. WRF–Hydro, a physics-based hydrological modeling system, capable of resolving atmospheric, land surface, and hydrological processes at city scale, is adapted to represent urban impervious surfaces. The modified model is used to assess the hydrological implications of historical urbanization. Pre- and post-urban scenarios are used to quantify the impacts of impervious surfaces on the local water budget. Our results show that urbanization in LA has vastly decreased the potential for groundwater recharge, with up to half of the water inflow being redirected from infiltration in highly urbanized watersheds, while doubling surface runoff’s share of the city’s water budget, from ~15% to 30%. This study not only sheds light on the role of imperviousness on groundwater recharge in water-scarce cities, but also offers a robust and transferable tool for the management of urban land and water resources.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: This research was funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. DE–AC02–05CH11231 and by the Regional and Global Climate Modeling Program (RGCM) program under “the Calibrated and Systematic Characterization, Attribution and Detection of Extremes (CASCADE)” Science Focus Area (award no. DE-AC02-05CH11231). Analysis and model simulations were performed using the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), specifically Cori-KNL supercomputing facilities (contract number DE-AC02-05CH11231).
Uncontrolled Keywords: groundwater recharge,impervious surfaces,land surface,infiltration partitioning,urban hydrology,wrf-hydro,geography, planning and development,biochemistry,aquatic science,water science and technology,sdg 11 - sustainable cities and communities,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2023 18:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 11:55
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93628
DOI: 10.3390/w14193143

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