GROUNDWATER-SURFACE WATER INTERACTION AS A COMPONENT OF THE ECOHYDROLOGY OF SEMI-ARID REGIONS
J. Y. DIIWU
AbstractThe interaction of groundwater with surface water is an important process for maintaining the ecosystem. The process affects the ecology of surface water by sustaining streamflow during periods of low flow, moderates water level fluctuations of groundwater-connected lakes, and maintains wetlands which serve as habitats for a myriad of wildlife. The interaction also helps to stabilize water temperature as well as concentrations of nutrients and other organic/ inorganic compounds in water. Thus, groundwater interaction with surface water helps to provide thermal refuge for aquatic species in semi-arid regions where temperatures may otherwise rise to levels that may be lethal to these species. With the growing demand for the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, a better understanding of all components of the ecosystem, such as the linkage between groundwater and surface water, becomes imperative. This is even more relevant for the semi-arid regions where the impacts of environmental stresses tend to be more pronounced. This article is therefore intended to review fundamental concepts of the ecohydrology of the interaction of groundwater with surface water, and discuss the relevance of this interaction to the sustainable management of water resources of semi-arid regions.
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