Frankfurt Hydrology Paper
Global-scale estimation of diffuse groundwater recharge : model tuning to local data for semi-arid and arid regions and assessment of climate change impact
- Groundwater recharge is the major limiting factor for the sustainable use of groundwater. To support water management in a globalized world, it is necessary to estimate, in a spatially resolved way, global-scale groundwater recharge. In this report, improved model estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge at the global-scale, with a spatial resolution of 0.5° by 0.5°, are presented. They are based on calculations of the global hydrological model WGHM (WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model) which, for semi-arid and arid areas of the globe, was tuned against independent point estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge. This has led to a decrease of estimated groundwater recharge under semi-arid and arid conditions as compared to the model results before tuning, and the new estimates are more similar to country level data on groundwater recharge. Using the improved model, the impact of climate change on groundwater recharge was simulated, applying two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios as interpreted by two different climate models.