Regional assessment of groundwater recharge in the lower Mekong Basin

Lacombe Guillaume, Douangsavanh Somphasith, Vongphachanh Sinxay, Pavelic Paul. 2017. Regional assessment of groundwater recharge in the lower Mekong Basin. Hydrology, 4 (4):60, 18 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à comité de lecture Revue en libre accès total
Published version - Anglais
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Regional Assessment of Groundwater Recharge in the LMB - Lacombe et al 2017 - Hydrol.pdf

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Abstract : Groundwater recharge remains almost totally unknown across the Mekong River Basin, hindering the evaluation of groundwater potential for irrigation. A regional regression model was developed to map groundwater recharge across the Lower Mekong Basin where agricultural water demand is increasing, especially during the dry season. The model was calibrated with baseflow computed with the local-minimum flow separation method applied to streamflow recorded in 65 unregulated sub-catchments since 1951. Our results, in agreement with previous local studies, indicate that spatial variations in groundwater recharge are predominantly controlled by the climate (rainfall and evapotranspiration) while aquifer characteristics seem to play a secondary role at this regional scale. While this analysis suggests large scope for expanding agricultural groundwater use, the map derived from this study provides a simple way to assess the limits of groundwater-fed irrigation development. Further data measurements to capture local variations in hydrogeology will be required to refine the evaluation of recharge rates to support practical implementations.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : eau souterraine, Conservation de l'eau, Modèle mathématique, Modèle de simulation, Planification régionale, Bassin versant

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Mékong, République démocratique populaire lao, Asie du Sud-Est

Mots-clés libres : Groundwater recharge, Baseflow, Local minimum digital filtering method, Multiple linear regression, Mekong

Classification Agris : P10 - Water resources and management
U10 - Computer science, mathematics and statistics
D10 - Public administration
F06 - Irrigation

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Lacombe Guillaume, IWMI (LAO) ORCID: 0000-0002-3882-2697 - auteur correspondant
  • Douangsavanh Somphasith, IWMI (LAO)
  • Vongphachanh Sinxay, University of Sydney (AUS)
  • Pavelic Paul, IWMI (LAO)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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