Water Chemistry in the Ancient City of Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China

By William M. Murphy and Rui Chen.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interrelated cultural, economic, and hydrochemical factors affect the quality of water for human consumption in the ancient city of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site with rapidly growing tourist attention and rapid development in the adjacent new city. Historically a distributary canal system provided water derived from deep aquifer springs to city residents and also served to discharge wastes. Springs emerging from a shallow aquifer under the densely populated old city provided additional domestic water. Although threatened by consumption and pollution, these water sources are still in use by residents and have been augmented in recent decades by shallow wells, piped water, and imported water. A water chemistry study of approximately fifty spring, canal, and well sites in the old city of Lijiang was conducted in 2002 and 2006. This study provides data bearing on historical characteristics of the water supply system, on its response to urban development and water importation, on seasonal variations in water quality, and on the potential for sustainability of the water supply system. This study specifically reveals hydrochemical relations between the various water sources, identifies distinct chemistries for deep and shallow aquifers, provides evidence of pollution of the shallow aquifer and of canals during seasonally low flow, documents temporal and spatial variations in canal water quality, and contributes to the scientific basis for sustainable management of the water supply at the ancient city of Lijiang.

Keywords: Lijiang, China, Water Chemistry, Water Sustainability, Springs, Canals, Wells, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.71-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 807.580KB).

Dr. William M. Murphy

Associate Professor, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, California State University, Chico, Chico, California, USA

William M. Murphy has a B.S. in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.S. in Geology from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley (1985). He is Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences at California State University, Chico. His research encompasses geochemistry with an emphasis on thermodynamic and kinetic interpretations of water-rock interactions. His applied research presently focuses on issues of water quality and geologic disposal of wastes.

Dr. Rui Chen

Adjunct Assitant Research Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, California State University, Chico, Chico, California, USA

Rui Chen has a B.S. in seismology and geology from the China University of Geology, Wuhan, an M.S. in seismotectonics from the China University of Science and Technology, Beijing, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Geological Engineering from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She is an Adjunct Professor in Civil Engineering at California State University, Chico, and an independent consultant in geotechnical earthquake engineering.

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