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A conjunctive water supply system for Deyang City

Deyang City is located in the Sichuan Basin in southwest China. The Deyang area was struck hard by an 8 Richter-force earthquake in 2008. Since then, reconstruction has taken place with a tremendous speed. The urban population of Deyang city increased exponentially as a consequence of the resettlement of displaced people and of the relocation of a large number of factories after the earthquake. The urban population has reached to 800,000 (similar to Amsterdam). However, the city's water supply system can't meet its rapidly growing water demand. The area has a sub-tropical climate with a long-term annual average precipitation of 900 mm/a. However, precipitation occurs mainly in the rainy season between July and September. Two large rivers cross the city with a combined longterm annual average discharge of 20x108 m3. Because the construction of additional surface water reservoirs is too risky in this earthquake-prone area, groundwater is heavily abstracted for water supply, especially during the dry seasons. The overexploitation of groundwater has caused a rapid and on-going decline of groundwater levels. The Department of Water Resources of Deyang has requested Chengdu University of Science and Technology to conduct a groundwater resources assessment to evaluate the groundwater potential. The results obtained show that natural groundwater recharge is insufficient to meet the water demand. Continuous overexploitation of groundwater will eventually completely deplete the groundwater storage. Water supply shortage is not only the problem for Deyang. At present, China faces severe water shortages, which result from population increase and severe water pollution caused by its rapid economic development with still minimal regard for environmental impacts. Currently, two-thirds of all Chinese cities don't have sufficient water the whole year round. More than 400 of them suffer from insufficient water supplies and 110 of them even severely. Accelerated urbanization and high-speed economic growth in China continue to aggravate the water-shortage problem. Half of the 640 major cities in China daily lack more than 50 million m3/d of water. The dual problem of water scarcity and water pollution causes a loss of 11.2 billion US$ in industrial output every year. The cost of the impact of insufficient water quality on health has been estimated at 3.9 billion US$ per year. The urban water supply capacity in the North China in particular depends for 50 to 85% on groundwater, but this water source is often heavily depleted. Until recently, the Chinese government used traditional approaches to try to solve the problems of water shortage. Construction of surface reservoirs has always been the first choice, but is not always possible. In addition to surface water, groundwater abstraction wells have traditionally been installed for drinking water supply. Cases that conjunctively combine surface water and groundwater to create a sustainable water supply system are rare

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