Groundwater Recharge Estimation in Sukhuma District, Champasak Province, Southern Laos: A Preliminary Assessment

Engineers Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
37th Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium 2016: Water, Infrastructure and the Environment, 2016, pp. 508 - 587
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Southern Laos is undergoing economic and agricultural development, resulting in a large increase in groundwater and surface water use. However, these water resources are not known in detail. This study aims to investigate the groundwater and surface water interactions in the Sukhuma District of Champasak Province using a network of sixteen rain gauges and groundwater levels measurement points. Groundwater levels are measured weekly in eleven domestic wells, which are pumped irregularly, and also in five observation bores. Aquifer recharge occurs from direct infiltration of rainfall and also is derived using baseflow calculated from daily streamflow measurements at the re-established gauging station on the Khamouan River in Sukhuma District. The Khamouan River is connected to the groundwater in its lower reaches in both dry and wet seasons. Baseflow proportion to the total streamflow in the wet season 2015 has been estimated at 46%. The distribution of direct recharge has been mapped with ArcGIS and is spatially variable. Preliminary estimates of rainfall recharge have been calculated by the water table fluctuation method for 2015 but show a high degree of uncertainty related to the specific yield estimates. Time series analysis has confirmed the observed lag of some three to four weeks between the wet season start and rise in groundwater levels. These preliminary results indicate that there is close interaction between groundwater and surface water in the Sukhuma District. Further analysis will refine these results and extend them through remote sensing across southern Laos for application to integrated water resources management.
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