Assessment of groundwater drought in the Mangyeong River Basin, Korea

Jae Min Lee, Jong Hoon Park, Euijin Chung, Nam C. Woo

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4 Citations (Scopus)


When groundwater drought occurs, baseflow discharges to surface-water bodies will be reduced and then domestic and agricultural water usage becomes at risk of insufficient supply. Thus, in this study, several methods for groundwater drought assessment were tested with long-term monitoring water-level data in the study area to preserve groundwater sustainability from drought, principally caused by reduced precipitation and propagated through agricultural drought and groundwater drought. Because of the Monsoon climate on the Korean Peninsula, the groundwater storage (or water-level) is secured until the end of summer, then falls by natural discharge during the dry seasons of autumn, winter and the following spring. Thus, the rainfall in the wet season seems to mainly influence groundwater storage until the spring of the following year. As the groundwater level (GWL) declines due to natural drainage and the use of agricultural water increases by the end of the dry season (October-May), the GWL will become lowered below the critical level. Below this level, sufficient water supply is not secured. Using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), threshold method and 95% probability occurrence method, drought detection and the frequency of drought are compared. Groundwater drought using the threshold method results in more frequent occurrence than using the SPI method. The 95% occurrence method responds to severe drought but it also has weakness in missing the man-induced GWL decline in every spring season. For groundwater drought assessment, an appropriate drought index should be utilized according to climatic conditions and catchment characteristics. In the study area, variations of the both natural and anthropogenic effects are mixed and the threshold method is more suitable as a measure for preventing water resources shortage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number831
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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