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Urban hydrogeology under anthropogenic and climate change impacts in Urumqi as example of Central Asia

Yan Zhu1
1 IRTCW of Uni.Tuebingen & Chang'An Uni.

P 9.3 in Urbane Hydrogeologie

Urumqi, one of the most important mega-cities in Central Asia, is expanding under influences of the combined factors of fast urbanization, economic restructuring, geo-politics and resource development policies. Sustainable water security with regional groundwater management needs to be urgently addressed in such a climate-sensitive area. Knowledge- based solutions for the local governance of freshwater systems, especially improving scientific understanding of anthropogenic and climate change impacts on groundwater resources, which play a very important role in semi-arid and arid regions, links to urban water supply and the sustainable management of the ecosystem.

Central Asia suffers from water scarcity, groundwater pollution and over-exploitation in urban regions. Climate change is strongly impacting water availability, energy security and sustainable development in the region, and thus represents one of the key concerns of water resource predictions, with serious implications for economic development, social stability and environmental safety. Urumqi has been chosen as the typical area to address the central research question concerning how humans have changed the water system in urban area, climate change impact as well as natural influences and social feedbacks arising from these changes at the regional scale.

The study focus on urban hydrological cycle and current situation of groundwater management, by field investigations & monitoring provided aquifer systems, groundwater quantity and quality, over-exploitation, water pollution, resource degradation and geo-risks. The anthropogenic impacts of land use & water balance changes, with the background of rapid climate change, caused the surface water and groundwater dynamics in the mega-city.

A systems approach for IWRM, searching for alternative water sources and investigating the feasibility, both ecologic and economic, groundwater protection, artificial groundwater recharge, brackish water use through desalination become the technological tools for the sustainable use of groundwater, plus local ecological experience to meet human needs whilst protecting freshwater ecosystem. Thus, the sustainable development strategies for improving efficiency started from Water Sensitive Urban Design, "Water-saving City", "Smart growth approaches", keeping ecological stability and Low-impact development, and for water security in extremes and emergency, groundwater resources protection and pollution control by natural treatment processes, are especially important for the Megacities in the arid and semi arid areas. Long-term research programs for quantitative assessment of climate change, regional water circle and the water balance under different scenarios are needed.

Letzte Änderung 27.02.2014