Because of land subsidence in Nantong City caused by aquifer pumping, studies have been undertaken using a 3D groundwater flow model linked to a 1D land subsidence model to optimize the rates and distribution of abstraction. Model results to the end of 2022 show that the current pumping regime will cause subsidence rates to exceed established control targets by over 40% locally. However, a radical redistribution of pumping wells including the greater use of shallower aquifers will potentially allow annual yields to be increased threefold to around 128 × 106 m3 without exceeding those targets. The results of this work have important implications for the sustainable development of groundwater resources in Nantong City and demonstrate the considerable benefits of modelling for proactive aquifer management and protection against subsidence.

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