Near cities, rivers and lakes withdraw faster

Locations and urban areas of surface water loss throughout the CONUS river basins and water resources areas. Locations where surface water has been lost are shown in blue. The urban area is shown in orange. The boundaries of the 204 HUC-4s river basins are shown in white, and the 18 water resources areas are numbered and highlighted with thick gray lines. The dark blue dashed box represents a magnified view of the city of St. Louis and the area around the Mississippi River. Credit: DOI: 10.1029 / 2021AV000519

Depletion of water resources (eg rivers and lakes) is more rapid and obvious near urban areas and gradually diminishes away from cities. A research group at the University of Bologna has developed a model that can predict the distribution of water loss associated with urban proximity by analyzing 30 years of satellite imagery from a region of the United States.Their study was published in the journal AGU Advance..

“By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will leave the city. This phenomenon is Water surface “Water, especially rivers,” explains Irene Palazzoli, the lead author of this study and a PhD student in the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environment and Materials Engineering at the University of Bologna. “Therefore, our result is water management that contributes to mitigating the impact of urbanization on ecosystems.”

Extracts water directly from rivers and springs and uses groundwater to increase the risk of infiltration and promote field drainage. Agricultural development, Increases evaporation rate due to the warm microclimate of urban areas. All of these are direct consequences of urbanization and represent a threat to surface water conservation. The projected increase in urban population with rising temperatures does not represent a promising scenario.

To address these issues, the researchers asked themselves the following questions: Where and how does urbanization cause surface water uptake? Is this phenomenon related to the distance of rivers and lakes from the city?

“The impact of urbanization on the environment is a well-known problem, but the impact of urban sprawl on water resources is well known, especially with respect to the interaction between urban areas and the surface of the earth. Water loss“Thanks to our data, we have defined a mathematical model of stochastic distance decay that can be measured accurately, which is the spatial effect of human settlements on surface water depletion,” said Palazzoli.

Researchers used US satellite imagery covering the period from 1984 to 2018. Their model shows how the depletion of surface water resources increases exponentially as they approach human settlements. Climate also plays a role. In warmer climates, the depletion of surface water resources around cities is greater, while in drier areas, the impact on surface water in urban areas is very wide.

“Investigating the interaction between urban areas and surface water losses is an urban development and water Management to protect and protect ecosystems Water resources“In these respects, our probabilistic model makes it possible to obtain useful information and can be applied anywhere in the world by similar research,” Parazzoli concludes.

The study was published in the journal AGU Advance It is entitled “Urban Impact on Surface Water Loss in the Mainland United States.”

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For more information:
I. Palazzoli et al, Urban Impact on Surface Water Loss in the Mainland United States, AGU Advance (2022). DOI: 10.1029 / 2021AV000519

Courtesy of the University of Bologna

Quote: Withdrawal of rivers and lakes will be faster near the city (February 10, 2022). Obtained from February 10, 2022

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Near cities, rivers and lakes withdraw faster

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