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Impact of Withdrawals on Karst Watershed Water Supply

Abstract : Karst systems consist of heterogeneous aquifers characterized by non-linear hydrogeological behavior. This is intrinsically linked to the coexistence of saturated versus unsaturated, open-channel versus closed-conduit flow and laminar versus turbulent flows within these aquifers. These multiple dualities together with a lack of knowledge of their internal structure lead to increasing difficulties in the management of groundwater resources related to karst aquifers. However, karst aquifers constitute strategic fresh water resources and many stakeholders carry out withdrawals sometimes continuously or centered on the period of low water level as for the irrigation. These withdrawals generate discharge decreases that can constitute sources of conflicts between upstream and downstream users of the resource. In this study, we propose a methodology to assess the impact of withdrawals on the spring discharge of a karst aquifer based on a conceptual non-linear reservoirs model. This methodology is applied to the second largest karst system in France: The Touvre karst system (La Rochefoucauld). The simulated influence of the total withdrawals on runoff deficit is larger than the total withdrawals in relationship with the non-linearity of the conceptual models. Globally, this impact is about one and a half of the total withdrawal depending of the year under consideration. Moreover, we show that it also implies a decrease from 10% to 20% of the low-flow annual discharge. The next step will be to also address the issues raised by the climate change projections.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 25, 2022 - 3:37:22 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 3:53:04 AM


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David Labat, Rémi Argouze, Naomi Mazzilli, Chloé Ollivier, Vianney Sivelle. Impact of Withdrawals on Karst Watershed Water Supply. Water, MDPI, 2022, 14 (9), pp.1339. ⟨10.3390/w14091339⟩. ⟨hal-03651247⟩



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