Transformation of surface water and groundwater and water balance in the agricultural irrigation area of the Manas River Basin, China

Yang Guang, He Xinlin, Li Xiaolong, Long Aihua, Xue Lianqing


Calculation of the water balance is very important to relieve the pressure on water resources in arid agricultural irrigation areas. This research focused on irrigation water balance calculations in the Manas River Basin of the southern margin of the Junggar Basin of China, and aimed to analyze the groundwater level dynamic trend and response characteristics of the basin water cycle under water-saving irrigation measures. The surface water and groundwater coupling model of MIKE 11-Visual MODFLOW was used to simulate rainfall runoff in mountainous areas, and quantify the contribution of water balance components in the plain irrigation area. Convergence of the delayed watershed in the mountain area was obvious, and when the river runoff exceeded 200 m3/s, the error in the runoff simulation was large. The water balance in the plain agricultural irrigation area was in a negative equilibrium state, and the difference between recharge and discharge was −2.65 billion m3. The evapotranspiration was 24.49 billion m3 under drip irrigation, accounting for only approximately 51% of the total discharge. The lateral discharge of the unsaturated and saturated aquifers was 15.38 billion m3, accounting for approximately 32% of the total discharge. The main reason for the groundwater decline in the irrigation area was closely related to the extraction of groundwater, because the amount of recharge and discharge in the natural state was approximately identical. The MIKE 11-Visual MODFLOW model produced accurate results, and the research method provided a new exploration technique to quantify the effect of water supply mode on the groundwater table. The model is suitable for the management of water resources in arid areas.
Keywords: water balance, coupling model, surface water and groundwater, water saving irrigation, Manas River Basin
DOI: 10.25165/j.ijabe.20171004.3461

Citation: Yang G, He X L, Li X L, Long A H, Xue L Q. Transformation of surface water and groundwater and water balance in the agricultural irrigation area of the Manas River Basin, China. Int J Agric & Biol Eng, 2017; 10(4): 107–118.


water balance, coupling model, surface water and groundwater, water saving irrigation, Manas River Basin


Wu C F, Déry S, Wu W C, Liu X B, Xiong J H, Gao W Q. A review of water resources utilization and protection in Southwest China. Sci Cold Arid Reg, 2015; 7: 736–746.

Yang G Q, Guo P, Li R H, Li M. Optimal allocation model of surface water and groundwater based on queuing theory in irrigation district. Transactions of the CSAE, 2016; 32(6): 115–120. (in Chinese)

Chung I M, Lee J, Kim N W, Na H, Chang S W, Kim Y C, et al. Estimating exploitable amount of groundwater abstraction using an integrated surface water-groundwater model: Mihocheon watershed, South Korea. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2015; 60(5): 863–872.

Bauer P, Gumbricht T, Kinzelbach W. A regional coupled surface water/groundwater model of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Water Resources Research, 2006; 42(4): 1–15.

Krause S, Bronstert A, Zehe E. Groundwater-surface water interactions in a North German lowland floodplain- implications for the river discharge dynamics and riparian water balance. Journal of hydrology, 2007; 347(3): 404–417.

Basharat M, Hassan D, Bajkani A A. Surface water and groundwater nexus: Groundwater management options for indus basin irrigation system. International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute (IWASRI), Lahore, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority, Publication, 2014; 299: 155.

Rahim B E A, Yusoff I, Jafri A M, Othman Z, Ghani A A. Application of MIKE SHE modelling system to set up a detailed water balance computation. Water and Environment Journal, 2012; 26(4): 490–503.

Bailey R T, Wible T C, Arabi M, Records R M, Ditty J. Assessing regional-scale spatio-temporal patterns of groundwater-surface water interactions using a coupled SWAT-MODFLOW model. Hydrological Processes, 2016; 30(23): 4420–4433.

Gebreyohannes T, de Smedt F, Walraevens K, Gebresilassie S, Hagos M, Amare K, et al. Application of a spatially distributed water balance model for assessing surface water and groundwater resources in the Geba basin, Tigray, Ethiopia. Journal of Hydrology, 2013; 499: 110–123.

Singh A, Panda S N, Saxena C K, Gupta S K. Optimization modeling for conjunctive use planning of surface water and groundwater for irrigation. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 2015; 142(3): 04015060.

Khan M R, Voss C I, Yu W, Michael H A. Water resources management in the Ganges Basin: a comparison of three strategies for conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water. Water Resources Management, 2014; 28(5): 1235–1250.

Li X L, Yang G, He X L, Zhao C, Wang C, Chen S, et al. Study on Groundwater Level Changes and Water Balance in Manasi River Basin. Journal of China Hydrology, 2016; 36(4): 85–92. (in Chinese)

Li X L, He X L, Yang G, Yang M J. Study on groundwater using visual MODFLOW in the Manas River Basin, China. Water Policy, 2016; 18(5): 1139–1154.

Wang H, Lu C Y, Qin D Y, Sang X F, Li Y, Xiao W H. Advances in method and application of groundwater numerical simulation. Earth Science Frontiers, 2010; 17(6): 1–12. (in Chinese)

Yang X, Liang G H, Zhou H C. Study on Hydrology and

Hydrodynamic Model in Guanyinge Shenwo Section of Taizihe River Based on MIKE11. Water Resources and Power, 2010; 28(11): 84–87.

Lin B, Liu Q J, Shang H, Wang Y W, Sui X. Application of coulpled MIKE11/NAM model in Naoli River Basin, northeastern China. Journal of Beijing Forestry University, 2014; 36 (5): 99–108. (in Chinese)

Varouchakis E A, Karatzas G P, Giannopoulos G P. Impact of irrigation scenarios and precipitation projections on the groundwater resources of Viannos Basin at the island of Crete, Greece. Environmental Earth Sciences, 2015; 73(11): 7359–7374.

Darko R O, Yuan S Q, Liu J P, Yan H F, Zhu X Y. Overview of advances in improving uniformity and water use efficiency of sprinkler irrigation. Int J Agric & Biol Eng, 2017; 10(2): 1–15.

Fu Q, Xiao Y Y, Cui S, Liu D, Li T X. Optimization of water use structure and plantation benefit of unit water consumption using fractional programming and conditional value-at-risk model. Int J Agric & Biol Eng, 2017; 10(2): 151–161.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.