The Role of Land Use Change on the Sustainability of Groundwater Resources in the Eastern Plains of Kurdistan, Iran

Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Jun;189(6):297. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6014-3. Epub 2017 May 28.


In this study, land use change and its effects on level and volume of groundwater were investigated. Using satellite images and field measurements, change in land uses was determined from 1998 to 2007. By analyzing the observation wells data and preparing the zoning maps in GIS, groundwater level fluctuations were assessed. Considering the area corresponding to these fluctuations, changes in aquifers volume were calculated. The rain gauge and synoptic stations data were used to calculate meteorological parameters and evapotranspiration. The water requirement of the main crops was determined by CROPWAT software. Results showed an increase in average rainfall and crops water requirement. The classification of satellite images showed that 11,800 ha was increased in lands under irrigated crops cultivation, while 27,655 ha of rangeland was declined in the region. Groundwater levels dropped an average of 7 m, equal to 63.4 MCM reductions in volume of water in the aquifer.

Keywords: GIS; Groundwater; Land use; Water requirement.

MeSH terms

  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Groundwater / analysis*
  • Iran
  • Rain
  • Water Resources / supply & distribution
  • Water Supply / statistics & numerical data*