Modeling Anthropogenic Impacts and Hydrological Processes on a Wetland in China


In many rapidly urbanizing countries like China, wetlands are constantly affected by anthropogenic factors such as landscaping, additional abstractions, reduction in catchment perviousness, etc. Thus, modeling of such anthropogenic factors should be explicitly considered when simulating wetlands. In this paper, the wetland module in a distributed hydrological model, SWAT, is modified to simulate the artificial water input to the designated wetlands. Local river runoff is used as the water sources to study the wetland restoration potential and to analyze the effects on local hydrological cycle and sea outflow. The QingDianWa depression, near Tianjin city, China, is used as a case study to study the restoration impact. Results showed that after restoration, the QinDianWa depression can reduce the potential impact of flooding by an average of 61 million m(3) per year, increase the annual surface runoff by about 32 million m(3) in non-flood seasons, and increase groundwater recharge by 9.4 million m(3). This illustrated the importance of wetland restoration on flood control, river flow increase, groundwater recharge, and flood reclamation. But with local water resources is far from meeting the demands of wetland restoration, the actual restored water surface area is only 21.5 and 40.9 km(2) for the designated surface areas of 60 and 150 km(2) respectively. Compared with nature wetlands without human disturbance, the anthropogenic effect of reduction of runoff and groundwater recharge may be attributed to large amount of human consumption of local water. However, the results showed that the aims of restoring Tianjin wetlands cannot be achieved fully by relying solely on local water resources. It is necessary to consider a combination of external sources of water and using artificial recharge from reclaimed water.