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Reporting of Stream-Aquifer Flow Distribution at the Regional Scale with a Distributed Process-Based Model


Groundwater withdrawals can reduce aquifer-to-stream flow and induce stream-to-aquifer flow. These effects involve potential threats over surface water and groundwater quantity and quality. As a result, the description of stream-aquifer flow in space and time is of high interest for water managers. In this study, the EauDyssée platform, an integrated groundwater/surface water model is extended to provide the distribution of stream-aquifer flow at the regional scale. The methodology is implemented over long periods (17 years) in the Seine river basin (76 375 km2, France) with a 6 481 km long simulated river network. The study scale is compatible with the scale of interest of water authorities, which is often larger than study scales of research projects. Net and gross stream-aquifer exchange flow are computed at the daily time step over the whole river network at a resolution of 1 km. Simulation results highlight that a major proportion of the main stream network (82 %) is supplied by groundwater. Groundwater withdrawals induce a reduction of net aquifer-to-stream flow (−19 %) at the basin scale and flow reversals in the vicinity of pumping locations. Such an integrated model provided at the appropriate regional scale is an essential tool provided to water managers for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

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This project was conducted on the request of the Agence de l’Eau Seine Normandie which participated substantially to the project funding. Funding was also supported by the CNES TOSCA SWOT project and the workpackage ”Stream-Aquifer Interfaces” of the PIREN Seine research program. We kindly thank the BRGM for providing the DEM and aquifer geometries.

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Pryet, A., Labarthe, B., Saleh, F. et al. Reporting of Stream-Aquifer Flow Distribution at the Regional Scale with a Distributed Process-Based Model. Water Resour Manage 29, 139–159 (2015).

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  • Surface water - groundwater interactions
  • Regional modeling
  • Distributed process-based hydrological model
  • Seine river basin
  • European water framework directive