Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 251–263 | Cite as

Long-term evaluation of the groundwater recharge function of paddy fields accompanying urbanization in the Nobi Plain, Japan

  • Masayuki ImaizumiEmail author
  • Satoshi Ishida
  • Takeo Tuchihara
Technical Report


The groundwater recharge function, one example of the multifunctionality of agriculture, is closely related to hydrogeological phenomena and socioeconomic factors such as pumpage and land use. A long-term evaluation of the groundwater recharge function is necessary to understand its role among the multiple functions of agriculture. The Nobi Plain, one of the largest coastal plains in Japan, was selected as the study area because it has experienced typical socioeconomic changes. We conducted a long-term evaluation of the groundwater recharge function based on simple water-balance equations using long-term data on groundwater levels and river flows. Leakage recharge from paddy fields in 1975 was about 2.8×108 m3/year, decreased to 0.6×108 m3/year in 1984, and ceased in 1985. Its monetary value of the function in 1975 was estimated by the replacement cost method, was about $56 million for 20 ha×103 ha of paddy fields. The value per unit area of paddy fields was calculated as $2820/ha and that in Japan was calculated as $400/ha. Paddy fields in suburbs of big cities have a higher value than the average paddy field in Japan. However, this recharge value is no longer produced because no leakage recharge occurs at present owing to socioeconomic changes.


Multifunctionality of agriculture Socioeconomic changes Replacement cost method Leakage recharge Induced recharge Environmental valuation 



We wish to thank Mr. Akihiko Harayama of the Planning and Management Office for the Kiso River System of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries for their initiative and support during tahis research project. This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Imaizumi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Satoshi Ishida
    • 1
  • Takeo Tuchihara
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Rural EngineeringTsukubaJapan

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