This project has contributed towards the socio-economic development of China by maximizing the availability of renewable groundwater resources through having information on the groundwater situation in a timely manner.
Groundwater is the main source for water supply in the People's Republic of China, especially in the North where groundwater supply is more than 52% of the total water supply.
However, intensive groundwater exploitation in last decades has caused serious decline of water tables. Moreover, groundwater is also vulnerable to pollution from various sources. In particular, in urban and industrial areas groundwater has been polluted in the past decades due to the rapid development of the economy and urbanization.
For the effective management of groundwater exploitation, high quality information on groundwater is needed. This information can be obtained only by a national groundwater monitoring network. The data collected from such a network should be stored in a computer database and analyzed and presented by a groundwater information system.
A primary groundwater level monitoring network has been operated by the China Institute for Geo-environmental Monitoring (CIGEM) in cooperation with 31 provincial Geo-environmental Monitoring Stations.
There are in total 20,738 monitoring wells, 1422 of that are defined as national monitoring wells and the rest (19316 wells) as provincial monitoring wells. The monitoring network covers all provincial capital cities and important agricultural production plains and basins.
The long term impacts of the project are, among others, a well functioned national groundwater information centre that will speed up groundwater monitoring and management activities, leading to sustainable groundwater resources development in China.
The project was designed to:
- strengthen the capacity of the China Groundwater Information Centre by training its staff and provision of modern database, GIS and decision support information technology.
- install REGIS system at the Centre and 3 pilot areas for the management and dissemination of groundwater information.
- develop a REGIS China by customizing, fine-tuning and adapting REGIS to meet China geographical and hydro-geological conditions and demands of Chinese users.
- develop a DSP for supporting decision-making in groundwater management.
- install 30 automatic groundwater recorders at each of thee pilot areas.
- create a groundwater information system with REGIS for each pilot areas.
- develop a regional groundwater model and identify optimal groundwater management scenarios for each pilot area.
- train a total of 12 specialists for the development and application of groundwater information system and DSP system.
- train a large number of professionals for groundwater monitoring and information management, groundwater modelling and application of groundwater information systems for groundwater management and increase public participating in groundwater management and awareness of decision-makers for protecting groundwater resources.
Activities and Outputs
The project aimed to establish a China Groundwater Information Centre at the CIGEM for the organization of groundwater monitoring, data collection, storage, processing, analysis, presentation, and information dissemination to public and decision-makers for groundwater resources management.
The capacity of the Centre has been strengthened through the intensive training of its staff in using modern database, GIS, groundwater model and DSS technology. The project will provide the Centre innovative Dutch groundwater monitoring instruments (data loggers), groundwater information management system (REGIS), groundwater monitoring data analysis and modelling tools for modernizing China groundwater monitoring, information management and dissemination activities.
This project is innovative in several ways:
- introduction and use of sophisticated state of the art groundwater monitoring and groundwater data storage equipment, Van Essen Divers;
- introduction and joint development of techniques for the optimization of groundwater monitoring networks in China
- introduction, joint development and implementation of a comprehensive ArcView/Oracle based geo hydrological information system, REGIS China
- introduction and joint development of a comprehensive groundwater Decision Support System (DSS)
- the intensive cooperation between national, provincial and municipal institutions dealing with groundwater assessment, groundwater exploitation and groundwater monitoring to establish a well functioning organization for the storage and dissemination of groundwater information in China;
- free exchange of geo hydrological data between different governmental, provincial and municipal institutions
The project has had positive impacts for groundwater monitoring in China. Inspired with the project achievements, a large national project for groundwater monitoring in six large groundwater basins in north China was developed and started in 2008. A closing ceremony and project information dissemination seminar was held in October 2008 to mark the successful completion of this five-year project. Around 175 delegates attended the three-day seminar, including high officials from the China Geological Survey (CGS) and the Ministry of Land Resources (MLR).
A China groundwater information centre has been established, including 15 specialist staff members who were trained. Groundwater system characterization has been completed through geochemistry studies and isotope analysis. Looking at the efficiency for groundwater level monitoring, the groundwater regime zone was mapped and the monitoring network designed.
An inventory of pollution sources, vulnerability mapping, design of groundwater quality monitoring network, and a selection of wells for quality monitoring were made.
In terms of contribution towards the increase in efficiency for data processing and analysis, an information system database has been constructed. Furthermore, model were constructed and applied.
An inventory of water resources master plan has been done and a design of groundwater resources development scenarios and assessment of impacts. This project also paid special attention to information dissemination by organizing seminars, developing a project website, producing information materials, writing scientific papers and making presentation in international and national conferences.