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Water Resour Manage

Evaluation of the Effects of Climate Change

on Groundwater Recharge Using a Hybrid Method

Mustafa Goodarzi 1 & Jahangir Abedi-Koupai1 &

Manouchehr Heidarpour1 & Hamid Reza Safavi2

Received: 17 April 2015 /Accepted: 17 September 2015

# Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Abstract In this study, a new framework was developed for the estimation of groundwater

recharge based on a hybrid method. In this regard, the homogeneous recharge zones were

determined by the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The recharge rates in these zones were

calculated using the Thornthwaite and Mather’s method. These zones and their recharge rates

were entered into the MODFLOW model. Next, the modeling processes, modification of

recharge, and calibration of empirical models were interactively continued in the MODFLOW.

This way, one of the most important disadvantages of conventional empirical models, i.e.,

ignoring the physical properties of the aquifer, was resolved by considering the main parameters

such as soil properties, unsaturated thickness, land cover, irrigation, and precipitation in

the resulting nonlinear equations. The low root mean square error values (less than 5.2) for all

equations and high values of the coefficient of determinations indicated the accuracy and

reliability of the models. The results of this hybrid method were a series of independent, costeffective,

rapid, and simple to use empirical equations for recharge estimation. As an example

for the application of this method, the effects of climate change on groundwater recharge were

evaluated in the study area. The obtained results showed that climate change would reduce the

recharge rates of the homogeneous zones differently. Moreover, the recharge rate had a general

decreasing trend in all regions. Overall, the total annual recharge rate would decrease in the

plain. This reduction, especially in the west of the plain which is one of the most important

Water Resour Manage

DOI 10.1007/s11269-015-1150-4

* Jahangir Abedi-Koupai

Mustafa Goodarzi

Manouchehr Heidarpour

Hamid Reza Safavi

1 Department of Water Engineering, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology,

84156-83111 Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of technology, Isfahan, Iran

Journal Papers

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