Groundwater management based on monitoring of land subsidence and groundwater levels in the Kanto Groundwater Basin, Central Japan
- 1IUGS-GEM Japan branch, 6-41-8, Kotehashidai, Hanamigawa-ku, Chiba 262-0005, Japan
- 2Research Institute of Environmental Geology, Chiba, Japan
- 3Chiba Environmental Foundation, Chiba, Japan
- 4The Geo-pollution Control Agency, Chiba, Japan
Abstract. Over 40 million people live on and exploit the groundwater resources of the Kanto Plain. The Plain encompasses metropolitan Tokyo and much of Chiba Prefecture. Useable groundwater extends to the base of the Kanto Plain, some 2500 to 3000 m below sea level. Much of the Kanto Plain surface is at sea level. By the early 1970s, with increasing urbanization and industrial expansion, local overdraft of groundwater resources caused major ground subsidence and damage to commercial and residential structures as well as to local and regional infrastructure. Parts of the lowlands around Tokyo subsided to 4.0 m below sea level; particularly affected were the suburbs of Funabashi and Gyotoku in western Chiba. In the southern Kanto Plain, regulations, mainly by local government and later by regional agencies, led to installation of about 500 monitoring wells and almost 5000 bench marks by the 1990's. Many of them are still working with new monitoring system. Long-term monitoring is important. The monitoring systems are costly, but the resulting data provide continuous measurement of the "health" of the Kanto Groundwater Basin, and thus permit sustainable use of the groundwater resource.