Groundwater is widely used for drinking, irrigation, and aquaculture in the Pingtung Plain, Southwestern Taiwan. The overexploitation and poor quality of groundwater in some areas of the Pingtung Plain pose great challenges for the safe use and sustainable management of groundwater resources. Thus, establishing an effective management plan for multi-purpose groundwater utilization in the Pingtung Plain is imperative. Considerations of the quality of the groundwater and potential impact on the aquifer of groundwater exploitation are paramount to multi-purpose groundwater utilization management. This study proposes a zonal management plan for the multi-purpose use of groundwater in the Pingtung Plain. The zonal management plan is developed by considering the spatial variability of the groundwater quality and the impact on the aquifer, which is defined as the ratio of the actual groundwater extraction rate to transmissivity. A geostatistical Kriging approach is used to spatially delineate the safe zones based on the water quality standards applied in the three groundwater utilization sectors. Suitable zones for the impact on the aquifer are then spatially determined. The evaluation results showing the safe water quality zones for the three types of utilization demands and suitable zones for the impact on aquifer are integrated to create a zonal management map for multi-purpose groundwater utilization which can help government administrators to establish a water resource management strategy for safe and sustainable use of groundwater to meet multi-purpose groundwater utilization requirements in the Pingtung Plain.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188(431),1-17