From observing to managing and alleviating hydrological droughts

Wendt, Doris Elise ORCID: 0000-0003-2315-7871 (2021). From observing to managing and alleviating hydrological droughts. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Groundwater is an essential source of water supply, particularly during meteorological droughts when the dependency on groundwater increases. However, the impact of human-influence, i.e. water use and water resource management on natural hydrological droughts remains unknown. This thesis aims to advance our understanding of human-influence on hydrological droughts, particularly groundwater droughts. For this, two methodologies were developed to analyse the impact of human-influence on regional groundwater droughts and assess impact of socio-hydrological feedbacks during droughts. The main results show an asymmetric drought response due to groundwater use resulting in in/decreased drought frequency and de/increased drought severity depending on the long-term balance between groundwater recharge and groundwater use. Results indicate that managed aquifer recharge can change this long-term balance, as found in a heavily-stressed aquifer where regional groundwater drought duration and severity reduced. Drought mitigation strategies are also found to alter this long-term balance. Modelled strategies reduce hydrological drought duration and severity, although the impact of mitigation strategies is sensitive to primary hydrogeological conditions and the overall water allocation. In summary, these results advance our understanding of human-influence on hydrological droughts. Findings highlight substantial impact on hydrological droughts and show the need of sustainable water resources management.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Hannah, David
Van Loon, Anne
Bloomfield, John
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council, Other
Other Funders: British Geological Survey
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


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