Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources Using Groundwater Flow Models

Alper El^i

Abstract Climate change is a potential stressor of groundwater resources and its effects on the availability of groundwater need to be understood and determined. The impacts of climate change on groundwater systems are conceptually known, however in the context of climate change impact assessment there has been little research conducted on groundwater compared to surface water resources. One of the tools used to quantify the effects of climate change is to use groundwater flow models in conjunction with downscaled GCM (global circulation model) results and groundwater recharge estimation. The purpose of this study is to present an overview of groundwater modeling approaches to assess the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources. Basic requirements, challenges and different approaches to overcome them are presented. The principal challenge of any climate change impact study is the downscaling of GCM results to the basin scale. Furthermore, the estimation of the impacted groundwater recharge is particularly important in groundwater modeling studies. A summary of case studies demonstrating the various methodologies are provided, following with an overview of a recent climate change impact study conducted for Tahtali stream basin in Turkey.

Keywords Groundwater • Numerical modeling • Recharge • Water budget • Downscaling • Tahtali stream basin

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