Fresh groundwater lenses are important resources for local inhabitants and ecosystems in coral islands. In view of the complexity of the coral islands, it is necessary to seek the measures of low-cost, effective and less impact on the stability and the ecosystem to increase freshwater reserves. Based on the sandbox experiments and numerical simulations, this study proposes an engineering measure to increase freshwater reserves by laying impermeable materials on the slope of an island. The effects of the measure on fresh groundwater lenses formation and different factors on increasing freshwater reserves in slope seepage prevention are evaluated. The practical feasibility of this measure is also discussed in case of the Yongxing Island. The results show that the slope seepage control increases the freshwater reserves by changing the groundwater flow field to increase the freshwater head. The stabilization time of the freshwater lens is also increased. After laying impermeable materials on slope of the sandbox (with the length, width and height of 50 cm, 5 cm and 35 cm, respectively), the maximum thickness of freshwater lens increases from 13.7 cm to 24.9 cm, the freshwater reserves increases from 561.8 cm3
to 1592.3 cm3
, and stabilization time increases from 120 min to 150 min, respectively. The increased freshwater reserves develop with the increasing rainfall intensity and slope impermeable depth, and also extend with the decreasing permeability of coral sand and impermeable materials. The Yongxing Island is taken as an example, and laying impermeable materials with a depth of 2 m on the slope will increase the freshwater reserves from 3.4×106
in the next 30 years, increasing the original reserve by 1/4. This study can provide theoretical support and practical guidance for sustainable groundwater management and water resources security in island areas of China.