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Artificial recharge of groundwater in Küçük Menderes River Basin, Turkey

Peksezer, Ayşe
Küçük Menderes River Basin located in western Turkey has been facing continuous groundwater level decreases for the past 30 years. In dry periods, irrigation demand is completely met by pumping from groundwater system, which reduces water levels significantly. This provides enough storage to be recharged in wet seasons when streams are running. However, increased runoff in wet season are not utilized neither for irrigation nor for recharge and lost to the Aegean Sea without being infiltrated. Hence, surface artificial recharge methods can be useful to collect excess water in recharge basins, thus allowing infiltration to increase groundwater storage in wet seasons to be later utilized in dry seasons. A 2-D groundwater model is set up by using SEEP/W software. The material functions and parameters used in the model for saturated/ unsaturated conditions are taken from previous studies. Calibration was done to check the accuracy of input data and to control the validity of model. The amount of excess water that will be collected in recharge basins was estimated from flood frequency analysis. Concerning different probabilities, different scenarios were simulated to observe the increase in groundwater levels. Simulation results suggest that significant increase in groundwater storage could be achieved by applying artificial recharge methods. In addition to recharge basins, to reinforce the effect of artificial recharge, simulations were repeated with the addition of an underground dam at downstream side of the basin. Simulation results indicate that the increase in groundwater storage is not sufficient to warrant construction of the underground dam.