03 May 2023
 | 03 May 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Effects of Urbanization on the water cycle in the Shiyang River Basin: Based on stable isotope method

Rui Li, Guofeng Zhu, Siyu Lu, Liyuan Sang, Gaojia Meng, Longhu Chen, Yinying Jiao, and Qinqin Wang

Abstract. The water cycle has been hampered by urban development and the changes it has made to natural surfaces, especially in arid regions with scarce water supplies. Urbanization has a significant hydrological impact because of the high water demands of urban populations and economic factors. We set up an observational system close to Wuwei City, which is situated in the Shiyang River Basin, to research the effects of urbanization on isotope dynamics within the basin. We sought to clarify any perceptible changes in isotopic patterns by the methodical collecting and analysis of water samples from various water sources. According to our research, landscape dams in urban areas have a substantial impact on the evaporation and penetration of surface water. We have also observed a weaker connection between precipitation, surface water, and groundwater in urban areas, as compared to non-urban regions. Also, our research has demonstrated that metropolitan areas have a quicker catchment cycle and a quicker conversion of rainfall to runoff. These results have important ramifications for managing water resources and urban planning since they offer important insight into the hydrological dynamics of urban areas. In dry regions, where care must be made to the loss of water resources owing to landscape dam evaporation, the barrier impact of urbanization on water body connection is particularly severe.

Rui Li et al.

Status: open (until 11 Jul 2023)

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Rui Li et al.

Rui Li et al.


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Short summary
The Shiyang River Basin is a typical semi-arid area, and with the growing urbanization process, this has led to a severe shortage of water resources. Based on river, precipitation, groundwater and meteorological data, we quantified the evaporation losses and the mean residence time(MRT) of surface water in different areas of the Shiyang River Basin. We found that urbanization accelerates rainfall-runoff processes, and in addition urbanization leads to higher evaporation losses from rivers.