Management Tools for Sustainable Ground Water Protection in Mega Urban Areas – Small Scale Land use and Ground Water Vulnerability Analyses in Guangzhou, China

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University Lochnerstraße 4-20, 52064 Aachen, Germany


In developing and newly industrialized countries, population growth and migration contribute immensely to the development of megacities and mega urban areas. In most cases, the rapid development of
cities has far-reaching consequences for the ecosystem in general and the hydrological cycle in particular. The developments in China within the last decades show an interesting, but complex setting. Massive and rapidly occurring land use changes in the economically booming South-Chinese Pearl River Delta result in rising hazards and risks for the urban water resources and often in a severe deterioration of water quality. The quantity and quality of local groundwater sources is, however, much less investigated than the situation of the surface waters. In order to supporting a better protection of the urban groundwater resources, the aims of this article are to analyze the vulnerability of the groundwater and the potential hazards and risks for groundwater resulting from land use changes – taking Guangzhou as a case study area.