Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 2089–2101 | Cite as

Sensitivity of a Groundwater Flow Model to Both Climatic Variations and Management Scenarios in a Semi-arid Region of SE Spain

  • Santiago Castaño
  • David Sanz
  • Juan José Gómez-Alday


Since 1980, southern Spain has registered a cycle of drought with magnitudes consistent with forecasts by the European Environment Agency on climate change for a 20 % decrease in precipitation in southern Europe due to the acceleration of global warming. The impact of this climatic event has been taken into account in drawing up water management plans for the basins affected. However, it has barely been considered in terms of the evolution of groundwater reserves or in their modelling, possibly because the effects are often masked by intensive anthropic withdrawals from regional water resources. This research uses a mathematical groundwater flow model to evaluate the reserve evolution in the Mancha Oriental aquifer system (SE Spain) due to impacts from this drought cycle. Its influence has been quantified (from 1980 to 2008) in the aquifer's storage deficit 23 Mm3/year and in the discharge volume of the Júcar River of 21 Mm3/year. Finally, three plausible scenarios are modelled with respect to 2027, the end date of the planning horizons proposed by Directive 2000/60/EC. These scenarios examine the economic repercussions on current groundwater resource management measurements. If the drought was to persist, the costs involved in the storage deficit were calculated in the range from 21.7 to 34.9 M€.


Climate change Groundwater pumping Modelling Agricultural water management 



This study was funded by research project CGL2008-06394-C02-02/BTE financed by the Spanish Government. Special thanks go to water authorities (CHJ) and Stakeholders (JCRMO) in the Mancha Oriental System for providing the various data. Special thanks go to Dr. E. Cassiraga, Dr. A. Sahuquillo, and O. Álvarez, researchers of the Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Department (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia) for cooperation in research project (MODOS): construction, calibration, and validation of groundwater model. We would also like to thank C. Laurin for improving the English text.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santiago Castaño
    • 1
  • David Sanz
    • 1
  • Juan José Gómez-Alday
    • 1
  1. 1.Hydrogeology Group, Institute for Regional DevelopmentUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain

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