Conference Abstracts

All Abstracts were presented at the Groundwater Conferences

Displaying 151 - 200 of 795 results
Title Presenter Name Presenter Surname Area Conference year Keywords

Abstract

The largely groundwater-dependent Sandveld region’s water resources have been put under severe strain due to increased agricultural and town development and recent increased interest in mineral exploration within these catchments. The area known locally as the Sandveld consists of the coastal plain along the west coast of South Africa, bordered by the Olifants River to the north and east, the Berg River to the south and the Atlantic Ocean coastline to the west. Groundwater is considered an essential source of fresh water for the town and agricultural supply. It also plays a major role in maintaining the functionality of the natural environment, especially concerning the coastal wetlands, such as the Verlorenvlei Wetland, designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site). Monitoring boreholes displayed a general drop in water levels, and a decrease in surface water flow has been reported. This has resulted in the drying up of wetland areas within the catchments. This investigation focused on conceptualising the geohydrological setting and defining the groundwater-surface water interactions and interdependencies. The assessment entailed a complete review and analyses of available hydrogeological and hydrochemical data and reports obtained through Stellenbosch University, the Department of Water and Sanitation and the private consulting sector. The priority groundwater areas were delineated, and recommendations on the regional management of these aquifers were made. The research characterised the geohydrological setting and outlined the Sandveld surface water systems’ dependency on groundwater baseflow and spring flow.

Abstract

Groundwater is a hidden resource, so as part of making it more visible, geophysical methods can be very useful in inferring the delineation of aquifers and/or more productive zones to target in fractured rock environments. The most commonly used techniques to assist groundwater studies or exploration are still resistivity profiles or sections known as ERT or electrical resistivity tomography and vertical electrical soundings or VES. One of the limiting factors with this technique is the scale of what surveys can be conducted, resulting in, at best, some kilometers per day. The Hydrogeophysics group of Aarhus University have developed the towed transient electromagnetic (tTEM) system as a cost-efficient tool for characterizing regional hydrological systems to depths of up to 70 m as an alternative to these more traditional methods - which is highly productive in that collection of 40- to-80-line kilometers of data per day is feasible. The system is based on the transient electromagnetic (TEM) method, which involves using a transmitter and receiver coil to measure the electrical resistivity of the subsurface. The hydrological value in electrical resistivity images stems from the ability to delineate different hydrogeological units based on their contrasting electrical properties. Consequently, 3D electrical resistivity images can infer the subsurface hydrogeology and enhance the success of installing productive boreholes. This work presents case studies from several African countries (e.g., South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Togo). It demonstrates how the tTEM method can identify reliable drinking water sources in these countries.

Abstract

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in deep saline aquifers is a viable option for Green House Gas (GHG) mitigation. However, industrial-scale scenarios may induce large-scale reservoir pressurization and displacement of native fluids. Especially in closed systems, the pressure buildup can quickly elevate beyond the reservoir fracture threshold and potentially fracture/ reactivate existing faults on the cap rock. This can create pathways, which could act as conduits for focused leakage of brine and/or CO2 up-dip and mobilization of trace elements into capture zones of freshwater wells. Careful pressure management can ensure the reservoir’s hydraulic integrity. This can theoretically be achieved through simulation with appropriate mathematical tools. This research aims to quantify pressure buildup at a CO2 injection well by applying fractional derivatives to the pressure diffusivity Differential Equation (PDE). A numerical solution has been developed to (1) predict and assess the consequence of pressure buildup within the storage formation on groundwater flow in shallow aquifers and (2) assess the impact of pressure-mobilized contaminants (CO2 , brine and/or trace elements) on the quality of usable groundwater, if there is a leakage. The efficiency of each derivative is shown to depend on the type of reservoir heterogeneity. The Caputo derivative captured the long tail dependence characteristic of fracture flow, while the ABC derivative was able to model the cross-over from matric into the fracture flow. The numerical tools presented here are useful for successful risk assessments during geo-sequestration in basins with freshwater aquifers.

Abstract

Springs are examples of groundwater discharges. This paper reports on findings from cold springs groundwater discharges that have served as important water sources for sustaining domestic and agricultural supply. This study assessed the hydrogeology of springs to inform practical measures for the protection, utilization, and governance of such discharges. The research assessed the hydrogeology of springs in terms of conditions in the subsurface responsible for occurrences of springs spatially and their flow paths to the surface. Spring locations were mapped and validated for spatiotemporal assessment. The study examined the flow dynamics and hydrogeochemistry of spring discharges. In-situ and laboratory measurements of spring discharges were carried out using standard methods. Results showed that shallow and deep circulating systems of springs existed in the study area, being controlled by lithology and faults. All springs had fresh water of Na-Cl type, and rock-water interaction was the dominant geochemical process that influenced spring water chemistry. Radon-222 analysis showed high values detected in spring waters that confirmed recent groundwater seepage on the surface. The drum-and-stopwatch technique was used to estimate yield from spring discharges because it’s only effective and reliable for yields of less than 2 l/s. Results suggest that some springs were locally recharged with some regionally recharged. Based on results from estimated yield and quality, it was concluded that spring waters had low discharges. A comprehensive assessment of spring discharges should be conducted to generate large datasets to inform practical measures for protection, utilization, and governance.

Abstract

A major surface water–groundwater interaction difficulty is the complex nature of groundwater resources due to heterogenic aquifer parameters. Wholistic research is needed to inform the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes occurring at surface and groundwater interfaces and their interactions at watershed scales. Sustainable water resource use and protection depend on integrated management solutions involving cross-disciplinary studies and integrated hydrological modelling. Choosing appropriate methods such as spatial and temporal scales, measurable indicators, differences in software parameters, and limitations in application often results in uncertainties.

The study aims to conduct a comparative literature analysis, integrating case studies focusing on surface water–groundwater interaction. Literature reviews from case studies focus on several factors, including soils and vegetation studies, hydrochemical signatures, hydrodynamics of the main stem channels, desktop land use assessments, surface water quality profiling, conceptual hydrogeological modelling and numerical modelling in support of understanding surface water – groundwater interaction and highlight the challenges of methods used to indicate baseflow transition. This paper considers the methodologies demonstrated in the literature and their use in numerical modelling to obtain measurable indicators related to the two hydrological disciplines comprising (i) the surface water component and (ii) the groundwater component. These outcomes should be used to inform the potential future impacts on water quality from activities such as mining, irrigation, and industrial development. Water management protocols related to integrated surface water and groundwater studies for the future are critical in ensuring sustainable water management methods on a catchment scale.

Abstract

Along estuaries and coasts, tidal wetlands are increasingly restored on formerly embanked agricultural land to regain the ecosystem services provided by tidal marshes. One of these ecosystem services is the contribution to estuarine water quality improvement, mediated by tidally induced shallow groundwater dynamics from and to tidal creeks. However, in restored tidal marshes, these groundwater dynamics are often limited by compacted subsoil resulting from the former agricultural land use in these areas. Where the soil is compacted, we found a significant reduction of micro- and macroporosity and hydraulic conductivity. To quantify the effect of soil compaction on groundwater dynamics, we set up a numerical model for variably saturated groundwater flow and transport in a marsh and creek cross-section, which was parametrized with lab and field measurements. Simulated results were in good agreement with in situ measured groundwater levels. Where a compacted subsoil is present (at 60 cm depth), 6 times less groundwater and solutes seep out of the marsh soil each tide, compared to a reference situation without a compact layer. Increasing the creek density (e.g., through creek excavation) and increasing the soil porosity (e.g., by organic soil amendments) resulted in a significant increase in soil aeration depth and groundwater and solute transport. As such, these design measures are advised to optimize the contribution to water quality in future tidal marsh restoration projects.

Abstract

There is a transboundary groundwater reservoir on the Polish–Ukrainian borderlands, which is of key importance in shaping strategic groundwater resources. Due to the particular importance of this reservoir, the two neighbouring countries are obliged to undertake joint actions to protect it. One of the main difficulties in building a common platform for the management of TBAs in the Polish-Ukrainian border area is the differences in the approach to the identification of GWB, monitoring methodologies and assessment of the condition of GWB, and the inconsistent hydrogeological databases between the two countries. A transboundary numerical groundwater flow model was developed to support internationally integrated management. The model research helped diagnose potential problems by determining the scope of the area with cross-border flows and quantifying the flows between Poland and Ukraine. In addition, the numerical model was used to define the optimal cross-border management unit and the conditions needed to exploit the Lublin–Lviv Reservoir sustainably. Abstraction on a current level slightly increased the transboundary groundwater flow from Poland to Ukraine and minimally reduced the flow in the opposite direction but did not reverse the direction of water flow at the border. The simulated drawdowns do not have a transboundary range, but negative effects on surface water resources are noticeable. Joint management should focus on a broader legal consensus, improvement of institutional relations, and integration of monitoring and groundwater status assessment systems.

Abstract

West of the world-renowned conservation site, Kruger National Park, lies the larger extent of the Greater Kruger National Park within the Limpopo province. Boreholes have been drilled for decades to provide water to game lodges, large resorts, and watering holes for game viewing and livestock. The area contains both primary and secondary aquifers classified as having yields between 0.5 and 5.0 l/s, based on the geological setting, which consists of gneiss intruded by dolerite dyke swarms. A geohydrological assessment revealed that groundwater quality within the project area has an EC of 100 - 350 mS/m, linked to borehole proximity to surface water systems. The Makhutswi Gneiss and Doleritic Dyke swarms are the major controlling geology of the area, with higher-yielding boreholes close to dykes and major structural lineaments (faulted / weathered zones). A concern identified through geohydrological assessment observations is that boreholes frequently dry up after a few years, requiring deeper drilling/redrilling or drilling a new borehole. Aggressive calcium hardness in the water frequently damages equipment and increases maintenance costs. This project investigated the feasibility of increasing recharge to the aquifer with seasonal flooding/rainfall events by constructing artificially enhanced recharge locations overlaying doleritic dykes. This is expected to decrease the groundwater’s salinity and hardness, reducing operational costs. This pre-feasibility assessment has been completed, and the project has continued through a gradual implementation phase.

Abstract

Studies have examined the effects of groundwater pumping on nearby streams. Groundwater pumping affects streamflow, surface water rights, and aquatic ecosystems. This study investigates the impact of groundwater abstraction on surface water bodies. A secondary objective aims to develop a conceptual model to evaluate alternative approaches for streamflow depletion. The study area is a previous UFS/WRC test site along Modder River, Free State, South Africa. Streamflow depletion was simulated using four (4) analytical solutions, i.e., Jenkins (1968), Hantush (1964), Hunt (1999) and Hunt (2003). STRMDEPL08 analytical computer program tool is used to evaluate streamflow depletion. The aquifer parameters: distance of the boreholes to the stream; pumping periods analyzed in steady states conditions for a simulation period of 1 year; transmissivity with an average of 71 m/d; storativity of 0.02; specific yield of the aquitard range between 0.1 to 0.3; and abstraction rate of 2 l/s are defined for the hypothetical model. The average distances tested range from 10 m to 6,000 m. Pumping rate scenarios for an order of magnitude lower (0.2 l/s), 1 l/s; 4 l/s, and an order of magnitude larger (20 l/s) were simulated. Simulated graphs indicate that streamflow depletion rates are largest if the borehole is closer to the stream and decrease as the distance of the pumped borehole from the stream increases. Cumulative volume graphs for both analytical solutions decrease streamflow depletion volume

Abstract

Floods result in significant human and economic losses worldwide every year. Urbanization leads to the conversion of natural or agricultural land covers to low-permeability surfaces, reducing the infiltration capacity of the land surface. This amplifies the severity and frequency of floods, increasing the vulnerability of communities. Drywells are subsurface structures built in the unsaturated zone that act as managed aquifer recharge facilities to capture stormwater runoff. They are particularly well-suited for the urban environment because of their low land occupancy. In this study, we utilized an integrated surface-subsurface flow modelling approach to evaluate the effectiveness of dry wells in reducing urban runoff at a catchment scale. We developed a 3D model with HydroGeoSphere, characterizing a synthetic unconfined aquifer covered by a layer of low-permeability materials. Sensitivity analyses of land surface conditions, aquifer properties, dry well designs, and rainfall conditions were performed. Model results indicated that dry wells are more effective in reducing runoff when the land surface has a higher Manning roughness coefficient or the aquifer material has a higher hydraulic conductivity. Dry wells should be situated beneath drainage routes with high runoff flux to achieve optimal performance. Increases in dry well radius or depth enhance the infiltration capacity, but deeper dry wells can contaminate groundwater through infiltrating stormwater. Dry well performance declines with higher rainfall intensity, emphasizing the need for local rainfall intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) data to inform the design level of dry wells in specific catchments.

Abstract

Access to safe water is not yet universal in Burkina because 30% of Burkinabes do not yet have access to drinking water. The objective of universal access to drinking water (ODD 6.1) is difficult to achieve in the context of population growth and climate change. Basement rocks underline 80% of Burkina Faso. However, about 40% of the boreholes drilled in the Burkina Faso basement rocks do not deliver enough water (Q < 0.2l/s) and are discarded. This study focuses on determining the appropriate hydrogeological target that can be searched to improve the currently low drilling success rate.

We set up a well-documented new database of 2150 boreholes based on borehole drilling, pumping tests, geophysical measurements, and geological analysis results. Our first results show that the success rate at 0.2l/s (i.e. 700 l/h) is 63% at the end of the drilling against 54% at the end of borehole development: the yield of 8% of the boreholes lowers significantly after only a few hours of development. We also found that the yield of the water intakes encountered during the drilling process slightly decreases with depth; beyond 60m, it is rare (only 15% of cases) to find water occurrences. We found clear relationships between the productivity of the borehole (yield after drilling and transmissivity obtained from the pumping test) and the thickness of the weathering rocks, indicating that the appropriate target to obtain a productive borehole is a regolith of about 35 meters thick.

Abstract

This study presents a novel approach for developing geologically and hydrogeologically consistent groundwater models at large valley scales. Integrating geological, geophysical, and hydrogeological data into a single model is often challenging, but our methodology overcomes this challenge by combining the Ensemble Smoother with Multiple Data Assimilation algorithm (ESMDA) with a hierarchical geological modelling approach (ArchPy). The ESMDA framework assimilates geophysical and hydrogeological field data jointly. To diminish the computational cost, the forward geophysical and groundwater responses are computed in lower-dimensional spaces relevant to each physical problem, alleviating the computational burden and accelerating the inversion process. Combining multiple data sources and regional conceptual geological knowledge in a stochastic framework makes the resulting model accurate and incorporates robust uncertainty estimation. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach using actual data from the upper Aare Valley in Switzerland. Our results show that integrating different data types, each sensitive to different spatial dimensions enhances the global quality of the model within a reasonable computing time. This automatic generation of groundwater models with a robust uncertainty estimation has potential applications in a wide variety of hydrogeological issues. Our methodology provides a framework for efficiently integrating multiple data sources in geologically consistent models, facilitating the development of hydrogeological models that can inform sustainable water resource management.

Abstract

Water resources, including groundwater, are under threat globally from abstraction and pollution, making studies of water flows ever more urgent. South Africa has a growing population, a relatively dry climate and abundant mining activity, all of which increase the importance of water management. Mooiplaas Dolomite Quarry, southeast of Pretoria, has been mining metallurgical grade dolomite since 1969 and is located in the productive karst aquifers of the Malmani Subgroup, Transvaal Supergroup. The site was investigated by sampling precipitation, surface water, groundwater and mine water for hydrochemical and stable isotope analysis from 2011 to 2017, totalling over 400 samples. Nitrate levels in groundwater and mine water were marginally above drinking water limits from explosives residues, and ammonia in the nearby Hennops River was unacceptably high due to municipal sewage outfalls, but otherwise, water quality was very good. Alkalinity from rock weathering, aided by the crushing of dolomite, was the main control on water chemistry. Combined analysis of dissolved matter (TDS, nitrate, Mg, etc.) suggested that the dewatering of the mine and resultant recharge from slime dams caused an aerated zone of groundwater, which mixed with regional groundwater flowing beneath the site. Stable isotopes, with an evaporated signature from mine open water bodies, also showed how mine operations cause recharge to groundwater and subsequent seepage back into the pit lakes. The mine appears not to contaminate the regional groundwater. However, mine designs should avoid situations where process water flows via groundwater back into pits, causing excessive dewatering costs.

Abstract

Contamination of fresh groundwater aquifers by leakage of saline water (brine) from wells may result from various activities, such as salt mining, wastewater or concentrate injection and geothermal heat production. Here, the brine transport and consequences for groundwater monitoring have been explored for a wide range of brine compositions, leakage and hydrogeological conditions using numerical simulations that considered buoyancy impacts from both temperature and density differences. Results show that at close distances to the leak (up to 3-5 meters away), breakthroughs of the salt ( at 1,000 mg/L) occurred within one month of leakage in all modelled scenarios. At a radial distance of 10 meters, with a leak rate of 2 m3 /d, it took three to six months in most cases. For the leakage of relatively warm brines, the heat transport is separated from the salinity due to thermal retardation resulting in monitoring the breakthrough of heat more closely to the depth of the leakage point than the salinity breakthrough. In summary, this study indicates that the mode of dispersion of leaking geothermal brine strongly depends on the brine properties and the leakage and hydrogeological conditions. At the same time, vertical monitoring of temperature and conductivity at a limited distance from brine injection wells (<5m) appears to be a robust method for detecting a possible leak relatively quickly (within a month) and after limited contamination. The monitoring signal in the event of leakage is also sufficiently distinctive to prevent false positives.

Abstract

Water stewardship is achieved through a stakeholder’s inclusive process. It aims to guarantee long-term water security for all uses, including nature. Various actions can occur in the watershed’s recharge area, such as land cover restoration and artificial recharges. To measure the effectiveness of these actions, it is crucial to quantify their impact on water and communities. The common method for assessing the benefits of water stewardship activities is the volumetric water benefit accounting (VWBA) method. It allows for comparing the positive impact on water to the extracted groundwater volume for operations. We present the validation of the Positive Water Impact of DANONE Aqua operation at the Lido Site in West Java, Indonesia, within the VWBA framework. Different methods were used to evaluate three main water impact activities: (1) land cover restoration with reforestation, (2) artificial recharge with infiltration trenches and wells, and (3) water access. The curve number of the SWAT model was used to measure the reduced runoff impact of the land conservation action. The water table fluctuation method was employed to assess artificial recharge volume. The volume of pump discharge rates was used for water access. Results highlight the water impact at the Lido site, with the volumetric accounting of the three main activities. The discrepancy in the final calculation can be related to the variation in the field’s validated activities. VWBA framework is useful to validate water stewardship activities’ impact and plan further impactful actions.

Abstract

The Atlantis Water Resource Management Scheme (AWRMS) has operated since the 1970s. It demonstrates cost-effective and wise water use and recycling through visionary town planning and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), offering water security to Atlantis’s residential and industrial sectors. For the AWRMS to succeed, it required integrating its water supply, wastewater and stormwater systems. Each of these water systems is complex and requires a multidisciplinary management approach. Adding to the challenges of inter-departmental co-operation and communication within a municipal system is the complexity and vulnerability of the coastal, primary Atlantis Aquifer. A combination of operational difficulties, biofouling, vandalism and readily available surplus surface water (leading to scheme augmentation from surface water) were negative drivers to decrease the reliance on groundwater supply from the scheme’s two wellfields. In response to the 2015-2018 drought experienced in the Western Cape of South Africa, the City of Cape Town has improved assurance of supply from the scheme and successfully built resilience by upgrading knowledge and insight through improved investigative techniques, monitoring, modelling and adaptive management of the various water resources and associated infrastructure systems. An integrated and adaptive management approach is essential to ensure continued water security and resilience to the effects of on-going urban expansion, population growth and climate change. Resilience is assured by institutions, individuals and communities taking timely and appropriate decisions, while the long-term sustainability of the AWRMS depends on proper management of all actors coupled with a high level of scientific confidence.

Abstract

Nearly 1.9 billion people live in marginal environments, including drylands, semiarid, arid, and hyperarid environments. Obscure but ubiquitous circular pockmark depressions dot these lands. These circular depressions can range from a few meters to kilometers, and the depth of these depressions varies from a few centimeters to over 10 m. However, the genesis of the circles has been investigated among scientists for many years because of their obscure nature. Some researchers believe that termites cause fairy circles, while others believe they are caused by plants competing for water and nutrients. This study documented the Africa-wide prevalence and extent of the pockmarks for the first time, and it further classified the pockmarks according to their genesis and hydrological roles. We further investigated their relevance in serving as nature-based solutions to overcome water scarcity in dryland regions. So far, field evidence in Ethiopia and Somalia showed that these features potentially have water security significance in a) organizing surface water flows over arid/semi-arid landscapes, b) serving as the site of temporary surface water storage, and c) serving as the site of focused groundwater recharge into the underlying aquifers. This presentation will highlight the spatial prevalence, extent, and genesis model of the pockmarks across the drylands in Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad, Senegal, Mali, Niger, etc.).

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that river-aquifer connectivity exists. However, an integrated approach that consists of multiple measuring methods to quantify and characterise such connectivity still needs improved scientific understanding due to the underlying principles and assumptions of such methods, mainly when such methods are applied in a semi-arid environment. Three techniques (hydrogeochemistry, stable water isotopes, and baseflow separations) were applied to quantify and characterize river-aquifer interactions. The study’s objective was to improve knowledge and understanding of the implications of the results from the three methods. Field measurement, laboratory assessment, and record review were used to collect primary and secondary data. Results showed that Na- HCO3 water type dominated the upper stream, discharging onto the surface and forming stream sources. Na-HCO3 water type was an outlier when the area’s geology and land use activities were assessed. The isotope results showed that the studied aquifer had 9% recently recharged water. Being the upstream, the freshwater in such a mountainous aquifer was expected. The baseflow index (BFI) results showed that the dependency of the total river flow to aquifer discharge contributed 7.24 % in the upper stream, 7.31% in the middle stream, and 7.32% in the lower stream. These findings provided empirical evidence that hydrochemistry, stable isotopes, and baseflow separation methods provide key insights into aquifer-stream connectivity. Such findings inform choosing appropriate and relevant measures for protecting, monitoring, and allocating water resources in the catchments.

Abstract

Monitoring regional groundwater levels provides crucial information for quantifying groundwater depletion and assessing environmental impacts. Temporal variation of groundwater levels is the response of the groundwater system to natural and artificial stresses in terms of groundwater recharge and discharge. The complexity and extent of the variation rest on the nature and storage properties of the aquifer system. High groundwater levels are usually found in the recharge zones and low in the discharge zones, resulting in groundwater flow from recharge areas to discharge areas. Continuous decline of groundwater levels has been observed in some of the monitoring boreholes within the National Monitoring Network. Groundwater level decline has been caused either by over-exploitation or reduction of groundwater recharge. Generally, the pattern of spatial and temporal variations of groundwater levels is the consequence of incorporating climatic, hydrological, geological, ecological, topographical, and anthropogenic factors. Therefore, understanding the pattern of spatial and temporal variations in groundwater levels requires a combined approach. A combination approach of National long-term groundwater level monitoring data, Hydrological stresses, Anthropogenic interferences, and characteristics of the groundwater system was used to understand the continuous decline of groundwater levels in selected monitoring stations across the country.

Abstract

This study assessed aquifer-river interaction using a combination of geological, hydrological, environmental stable isotope, and hydrochemical data in a non-perennial river system in the Heuningnes catchment. Results showed the depth to groundwater levels ranging from 3 to 10 m below ground level and aquifer transmissivity values of 0.17 to 1.74 m2 /day. The analytical data indicated that Na-Cl-type water dominates most groundwater and river water samples. Environmental stable isotope data of river samples in upstream areas showed depleted δ18O (-4.3 to -5.12 ‰) and δ2H (-22.9 to -19.3 ‰) signatures similar to the groundwater data, indicating a continuous influx of groundwater into the river water. Conversely, high evaporative enrichment of δ18O (1.13 to 7.08 ‰) and δ2H (38.8 to 7.5 ‰) were evident in downstream river samples.

It is evident from the local geological structures that the fault in the northeastern part of the study area passing Boskloof most likely acts as a conduit to groundwater flow in the NE-SW direction, thereby supplying water to upstream river flow. In contrast, the Bredasdorpberge fault likely impedes groundwater flow, resulting in hydraulic discontinuity between upstream and downstream areas. Relatively low conductive formation coupled with an average hydraulic gradient of 8.4 × 10−4 suggests a slow flow rate, resulting in less flushing and high groundwater salinisation in downstream areas. The results underscore the significance of using various data sets to understand groundwater-river interaction, providing a relevant water management platform for managing non-perennial river systems in water-stressed regions.

Abstract

ue to public health or environmental concerns, performing tracer tests in the field by injecting pathogenic microorganisms or contaminants of emerging concern into groundwater is not permitted. Therefore, examining the effects of preferential flow processes on these contaminants under controlled saturated conditions must be done in the laboratory, but the resulting transport parameters cannot be directly applied to field-scale groundwater models. This research considers how an upscaling relationship can be found using a colloidal tracer and three different scales: small laboratory columns (0.1 m scale), a large intact core (1 m scale), and a real-world gravel aquifer (10 m scale). The small columns were filled with gravel from boreholes at the field site, an alluvial gravel aquifer close to Vienna, Austria. The mesoscale consists of an undisturbed gravel column from a gravel pit near Neuhofen an der Ybbs, Austria. Results showed that a certain pattern emerges after an initial scale-dependent threshold, regardless of differences due to the small columns being repacked with aquifer material and the large column and field site being “undisturbed”. In this way, the mesoscale column allows us to gain insight into upscaling processes by incorporating an in-between step when comparing groundwater transport at the column- to the field scale.

Abstract

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has become increasingly popular in Central Europe as a sustainable, clean, and efficient method for managing domestic water supply. In these schemes, river water is artificially infiltrated into shallow aquifers for storage and natural purification of domestic water supply, while the resulting groundwater mound can simultaneously be designed to suppress the inflow of regional groundwater from contaminated areas. MAR schemes are typically not managed based on automated optimization algorithms, especially in complex urban and geological settings. However, such automated managing procedures are critical to guarantee safe drinking water. With (seasonal) water scarcity predicted to increase in Central Europe, improving the efficiency of MAR schemes will contribute to achieving several of the UN SDGs and EU agendas. Physico-chemical and isotope data has been collected over the last 3-4 decades around Switzerland’s largest MAR scheme in Basel, Switzerland, where 100 km3 /d of Rhine river water is infiltrated, and 40 km3 /d is extracted for drinking water. The other 60 km3 /d is used to maintain the groundwater mound that keeps locally contaminated groundwater from industrial heritage sites out of the drinking water. The hydrochemical/isotope data from past and ongoing studies were consolidated to contextualize all the contributing water sources of the scheme before online noble gas and regular tritium monitoring commenced in the region. The historical and the new continuous tracer monitoring data is now used to inform new sampling protocols and create tracer-enabled/assimilated groundwater-surface water flow models, vastly helping algorithm-supported MAR optimization

Abstract

A mapping series was generated using the Vanrhynsdorp aquifer system to illustrate an improved standardization groundwater monitoring status reporting, that includes a progressive conceptual site model linked with spatial and temporal groundwater monitoring network assessment on an aquifer scale. The report consists of 4 segments: Base map provides a conceptual site model of a groundwater resource unit (GRU) delineating an area of 1456 km2 representing the geology and geological structures that make up the Vanrhynsdorp aquifer system.

The Groundwater Availability Map illustrated over a long-term trend analysis, the measured water levels indicate an 83% decreasing trend over an average period of 21.83 years, the water levels have declined by an average linear progression of 11.54 m (ranging 0.48-35.76 m) or 0.64 m per year, which equates to an estimated decline in storage of 218 Tm3 - 21 Mm3 within the GRU. The Groundwater EC map illustrated over the long-term analysis of an average period 24 years the average EC ranged between 57 - 791 mS/m, with certain areas tracking at a constant increasing trend beyond 1200 mS/m. The Groundwater Quality Characterization map provides EC contours and spatial Stiff diagram plots. The Stiff diagrams illustrate three aquifer water types namely, Na-Cl (Table Mountain Group Sandstones), Na-Cl with high SO4 concentration (Blouport and Aties Formation) and Na-Cl-HCO3 (Widouw Formation). These four segments of information products inform Resource Quality Objectives and the need for surveillance monitoring in conjunction with annual compliance monitoring and enforcement groundwater use audits.

Abstract

The SADC region has vast potential to alleviate water scarcity and promote growth through the responsible development of groundwater resources. To achieve this, it is crucial to understand the resource’s value, implement sustainable abstraction programs, protect its quality, optimize its usage for regional development, and implement innovative aquifer management programs, including artificial recharge. Greenchain Group is a water treatment company that recognizes the value of water and strategically deploys its expertise to maximize the potential of each drop. As membrane technology specialists and local manufacturers of this advanced technology, we understand how to design integrated solutions to safeguard water quality and accessibility. Our wide range of filtration technologies allows us to select the technology suited to the application and regional groundwater context and to produce high-quality water from various sources, including groundwater. Additionally, by removing contaminants/unwanted constituents from groundwater, we enhance the value of each drop of water for local potable consumption, eliminate the need for overwatering in agriculture, and allow for the creation of new agriculture/industries in regions with poor groundwater quality. This same technology can also treat wastewater and remove contaminants (e.g. chemical of emerging concern, PFAS) and thus is critical to water reuse applications and responsible Managed Aquifer Recharge. Greenchain Group’s treatment systems have been used in various industries, including agriculture, mining, energy, medical, food and beverage, and remote and mobile settings.

Abstract

Slug tests are preliminary tests applied to determine the hydraulic conductivity and whether it is necessary to perform a pumping test on the borehole under investigation and should never be recommended as a substitute for a pumping test. For this reason, slug tests cannot be related to sustainable yield because slug tests cannot detect boundary conditions. The aim was to develop a methodology to relate slug tests to a potential yield estimation, investigating and reviewing the applicability and accuracy of the slug test methodology in South Africa, applied on fractured rock aquifers as established in 1995. The aim was achieved by reviewing the methodology applied for slug tests that are related to potential yield estimations, identifying the limitations of slug tests, investigating the possibility of updating the potential yield estimation method of 1995, and investigating the possibility of relating slug tests, to potential yield and transmissivity estimations through groundwater modelling. The investigation revealed that using transmissivity values determined through slug test homogenous modelling can be utilised to estimate the potential yield of a borehole under investigation by implementing correlation statistics. Note that this is not an absolute and is subject to limitations.

Abstract

The alluvial aquifer in the Varaždin region has a long-standing problem with high groundwater nitrate concentrations, mainly from agricultural activities. Since groundwater is used in public water supply networks, it is important to ensure its sustainable use. The aquifer is also used to exploit gravel and sand, and the increased demand for this valuable construction material causes the excavation of gravel pit lakes, making groundwater more vulnerable. Although engineered processes can remove nitrate from groundwater, natural attenuation processes should be investigated to understand the nitrogen behaviour and additional mechanisms for groundwater remediation. Previous research has shown nitrate is a conservative contaminant in the critical zone. Aerobic conditions within an aquifer system prevent significant denitrification. Thus, nitrification is the main process controlling nitrogen dynamics in groundwater. Since groundwater and gravel pit lakes are hydraulically connected, and natural nitrate attenuation exists in these lakes, an additional mechanism for groundwater remediation is possible. This work used isotope hydrochemistry and groundwater modelling to investigate gravel pit lakes as possible sites to reduce nitrate concentration in groundwater. Based on the isotopic composition of groundwater and nitrate concentrations, water balance and solute mass balance were calculated, which made it possible to estimate the nitrate attenuation rate in gravel pit lakes. The gained retardation factor was applied to the groundwater flow and nitrate transport model through several scenarios to evaluate the contribution of gravel pit lakes in reducing the groundwater nitrate concentrations

Abstract

The identification of hydrogeological boundaries and the assessment of groundwater’s quantitative and qualitative status are necessary for delineating groundwater bodies, according to the European Guidelines. In this context, this study tries to verify the current delineation of groundwater bodies (GWBs) through hydrogeochemical methods and multicriteria statistical analyses. The areas of interest are three GWBs located in the northern part of Campania Region (Southern Italy): the Volturno Plain, a coastal plain constituted of fluvial, pyroclastic and marine sediments; the Plain of Naples, an innermost plain of fluvial and pyroclastic sediments and the Phlegrean Fields, an active volcanic area with a series of monogenic volcanic edifices. Hydrogeochemical methods (i.e., classical and modified Piper Diagram) and multivariate statistical analyses (i.e., factor analysis, FA) were performed to differentiate among the main hydrochemical processes occurring in the area. FA allowed the handling many geochemical and physical parameters measured in groundwater samples collected at about 200 sampling points in the decade of the 2010s. Results reveal five hydrogeochemical processes variably influencing the chemical characteristics of the three GWBs: salinization, carbonate rocks dissolution, natural or anthropogenic inputs, redox conditions, and volcanic product contribution. Hydrogeochemical methods and FA allow the identification of areas characterised by one or more hydrogeochemical processes, mostly reflecting known processes and highlighting the influence of groundwater flow paths on water chemistry. According to the current delineation of the three GWBs, some processes are peculiar to one GWB, but others are in common between two or more GWBs.

Abstract

Natural processes (e.g., El Nio) and anthropogenic activities (e.g., land-use modification and groundwater abstraction) drive local and global hydrological changes. Consequently, these changes threaten the role of wetlands in the hydrological and ecological functioning of a catchment. Verlorenvlei is a vulnerable RAMSAR-listed estuarine lake located on the west coast of South Africa in Elands Bay. Since the 2015-2018 Western Cape drought, Verlorenvlei has experienced drier-than-normal conditions with less rainfall, negatively impacting the surrounding ecology. Seasonal and spatial changes of the water sources (e.g., rainfall, surface water, and groundwater) supporting the wetland and the interconnectivity between these reservoirs were investigated using O/H stable isotopes and hydrochemistry analysis. The study collected event-based rainfall (57 samples), surface water (18 samples), and groundwater (108 samples) in February, April, and June 2022. Stable isotope ratios and hydrochemistry indicate that groundwater outside the watershed (topographically and surface water delineated) supports the wetlands, suggesting that local and regional groundwater flow systems influence the Verlorenvlei. Furthermore, the Verlorenvlei is subjected to high evaporation compared to other surface waters and, in return, is reliant on baseflow supporting its hydrological functioning. The Krom Antonies and Hol sub-catchments exhibit overlapping groundwater isotope ratios and water types compared to the Verloren sub-catchment, suggesting a disproportionately high groundwater contribution from both sub-catchments into the wetland. Understanding Verlorenvlei’s water balance is necessary to improve ecological reserve determination studies to help ensure environmental and socio-economic sustainable water use

Abstract

Faced with climate change and population growth, Dutch drinking water company Dunea is looking for additional water resources to secure the drinking water supply for the coastal city of The Hague. One of the options is to enhance the existing managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system in the coastal dunes by extracting brackish groundwater. Extracting brackish groundwater provides an additional drinking water source, can protect existing production wells from salinization, and can effectively stabilise or even grow the freshwater reserves in the coastal dunes, according to numerical groundwater modelling. To test this concept in the field, a three-year pilot commenced in January 2022 at Dunea’s primary drinking water production site, Scheveningen. Brackish groundwater is extracted at a rate of 50 m3 /h with multiple well screens placed in a single borehole within the brackish transition zone (85-105 meters below sea level). The extracted groundwater is desalinated by reverse osmosis, whilst the flow rate and quality of extracted groundwater are continuously monitored. The hydraulic effects and the dynamic interfaces between fresh, brackish and saline groundwater are monitored with a dense network of piezometers, hydraulic head loggers and geo-electrical measurement techniques. At the IAH conference, the monitoring results of the pilot will be presented. Based on the results of the field pilot and additional numerical modelling, the feasibility of upscaling and replicating the concept of brackish groundwater extraction to optimize MAR and increase the availability of fresh groundwater in coastal areas is reflected.

Abstract

The Netherlands produces about 2/3 of drinking water from groundwater. Although there is seemingly abundant groundwater, the resource needs to be carefully managed and used wisely to safeguard the resource for future generations and in case of disasters whilst also preventing negative impacts from groundwater extraction on other sectors such as nature. Provincial governments are responsible for the protection of existing groundwater abstractions for water supply against pollution. To secure groundwater resources for the future, two additional policy levels have been introduced: Provincial governments have been made responsible for mapping and protecting Additional Strategic Reserves. These allow for additional groundwater abstractions to meet growing demands in coming decades (horizon 2040/2050). The National Government is responsible for mapping and protecting the National Groundwater Reserves (NGRs) as a third level of resource protection. NGRs serve multiple goals: to protect natural groundwater capital for future generations, to provide reserves for large-scale disasters affecting water supply and to provide reserves for possible use as structural water supply in the far future (horizon 2100 and beyond). NGRs are being delineated in 3D using detailed existing geological models and the Netherlands’ national (fresh-saline) hydrological model. The dynamics of the groundwater system are analysed through scenario analyses. Reserves for potential structural use are selected such that negative impacts on nature are prevented if future abstractions are to be realised. The policies being developed must balance interests of water supply against other sectoral interests such as the green-energy transition with increased use of geothermal energy and aquifer-thermal-energy-storage.

Abstract

Coal Ash Beneficiation is a government imperative for South Africa, and Eskom generates approximately 34 million tons of coal ash annually from their 14 pulverised coal fuel plants. It is estimated that there are approximately 6,000 abandoned coal mines in South Africa, of which 2,322 are classified as high risk, contributing to subsidence and the generation of acidic mine drainage. It is envisaged that coal ash could offer a support medium for the mines and neutralise the acidic mine water due to its alkaline nature. The Department of Fisheries, Forestry and the Environment has supported the initiative but has requested a means of modelling possible contamination due to placing the coal ash in these environments. To this end, laboratory trials were completed to generate the initial model and a controlled pilot site was established to validate the model’s accuracy. This trial evaluated stabilised and unstabilised coal ash as a means of acid water management. The laboratory trials showed that the ash could neutralise the pH of the mine water from approximately 2 to 7; this was sustained for the test period. In addition, sulphate and iron were significantly reduced in the treated water. The laboratory and site work results will be detailed in this presentation.

Abstract

The work presented relates to the influence of regional scale dykes in groundwater flow in karst aquifers of northern Namibia’s Otavi Mountainland around the towns of Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein. The aquifers are well studied and are an important water source locally and for populated central areas of the country during drought. The area has parallel, eastwest trending elongated valleys and ranges shaped by the underlying synclines and anticlines of folded carbonate units of the Damara Supergroup. The role of the regional scale dolerite dykes that cut across the dolomitic aquifers has not been fully appreciated till recently. Aeromagnetic data is effective in mapping the dykes in detail. The dykes trend in a north-easterly to northerly direction into the Otavi Platform carbonate rocks. The dykes are normally magnetised with the odd remanent dyke. They consist mainly of dolerite, although in some cases are described as tectonic with hydrothermal magnetite and no dolerite material. The dykes appear to focus southwest of the Otavi Mountainland near the Paresis Alkaline Intrusive (137Ma). Examination of existing hydrogeological data reveals different characteristics of the dykes that influence groundwater flow, forming: a) conduits that enhance flow along contact zones, b) barrier to flow with compartmentalization and c) partial barrier to flow. An advantage has been taken of the understanding gained to manage mines’ dewatering and pumped water management. Future water resources management and contaminant studies will need to recognise the compartmentalised nature of the aquifer

Abstract

The work presented in this paper incorporates spring data for further conceptualizing the hydrogeology of northern Namibia’s so-called “Karst Area”, an area around the towns of Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein. Also called the Otavi Mountainland, it can be described as a mountainous highland of parallel, east-west trending elongated valleys and ranges shaped by the underlying folded units of carbonate rocks of the Damara Supergroup. The karst aquifers are a supplementary source to the central areas of the country during drought. Most of these 35 springs are often found near hilltop crests or high up on the mountain flanks rather than lower down at the valley floors. If flows are generated locally as gravity or contact overflow springs, studying them would not add much to conceptualizing the regional groundwater flow. Fundamental insights are provided if flows arise due to hydraulic pressure from deeper down. As artesian boreholes do not occur as a rule in the Karst Area, artesian springs might indicate the presence of deeper aquifers out of reach at normal drilling depth. One such hypothesis is that the bottom of the dolomitic synclines, structurally weaker at the fold axis, had been subjected to deep-seated karstification. The work presented here investigates that possibility and argues for and against it. In addition, established concepts of groundwater flow mechanisms for the area have been revisited. A conclusion has not yet been reached, but the balance of the arguments is presented.

Abstract

Understanding the sensitivity of groundwater resources to surface pollution and changing climatic conditions is essential to ensure its quality and sustainable use. However, it can be difficult to predict the vulnerability of groundwater where no contamination has taken place or where data are limited. This is particularly true in the western Sahel of Africa, which has a rapidly growing population and increasing water demands. To investigate aquifer vulnerability in the Sahel, we have used over 1200 measurements of tritium (3H) in groundwater with random forest modelling to create an aquifer vulnerability map of the region.

In addition, more detailed vulnerability maps were made separately of the areas around Senegal (low vulnerability), Burkina Faso (high vulnerability) and Lake Chad (mixed vulnerability). Model results indicate that areas with greater aridity, precipitation seasonality, permeability, and a deeper water table are generally less vulnerable to surface pollution or near-term climate change. Although well depth could not be used to create an aquifer vulnerability map due to being point data, its inclusion improves model performance only slightly as the influence of water table depth appears to be captured by the other spatially continuous variables.

Abstract

The Bauru Aquifer System (BAS) is a significant source of water supply in the urban area of Bauru city. Over the last decades, BAS has been widely affected by human activities. This study evaluates the nitrate plume in groundwater from 1999 to 2021 and how it relates to urbanization. The methods used were analysis of the data of 602 wells, survey of the sewer network and urbanization, and reassessment of nitrate concentration data. The seasonal analysis of 267 groundwater samples allowed the identification of concentrations up to 15.1 mg/L N-NO3 - mainly from the area’s central region, where the medium to high-density urban occupation dates back to 1910. Otherwise, the sewage system was installed before 1976. The reactions controlling the nitrogen species are oxidation of dissolved organic carbon, dissolution of carbonates, mineralization, and nitrification. Wells, with a nitrate-increasing trend, occur mainly in the central and northern regions, settled from 1910 to 1980-1990, when no legislation required the installation of the sewage network before urbanization. In turn, wells with stable or decreasing nitrate concentrations occupy the southwestern areas. Over the years, the concentrations of these wells have shown erratic behaviour, possibly caused by the wastewater that leaks from the sewer network. The bivariate statistical analysis confirms a high positive correlation between nitrate, sanitation age, and urban occupation density, which could serve as a basis for the solution of sustainable groundwater use in the region. Project supported by FAPESP (2020/15434-0) and IPA/SEMIL (SIMA.088890/2022-02).

Abstract

Annually, UNICEF spends approximately US$1B in water, sanitation and hygiene programming (WASH), approximately half of which is spent in humanitarian contexts. In emergencies, UNICEF supports the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene programming under very difficult programming contexts – interruptions to access, power supply and a lack of reliable data. Many of these humanitarian situations are in contexts where water scarcity is prevalent and where the demand and competition for water are increasing, contributing to tension between and within communities. While water scarcity is not new to many of these water-scarce areas, climate change is compounding the already grave challenges related to ensuring access to safe and sustainable water services, changing recharge patterns, destroying water systems and increasing water demand. Incorrectly designed and implemented water systems can contribute to conflict, tension, and migration. Ensuring a comprehensive approach to water security and resilient WASH services can reduce the potential for conflict and use water as a channel for peace and community resilience. This presents an enormous opportunity for both humanitarian and development stakeholders to design water service programmes to ensure community resilience through a four-part approach: 1. Groundwater resource assessments 2. Sustainable yield assessments (taking into consideration future conditions) 3. Climate risk assessments 4. Groundwater monitoring/early warning systems UNICEF promotes this approach across its WASH programming and the sector through technical briefs, support and capacity building.

Abstract

The Sandveld (Western Cape, South Africa) is a critical potato production area on the national production scale, especially for table potatoes. As the area is situated on the continent’s West Coast, it is a dry area of low rainfall (less than 300 mm /a). The bulk of the irrigation water for agriculture in the region is derived from groundwater. Approximately 60 Mm3 /a of groundwater is abstracted for irrigation of potatoes in the broader Sandveld, assuming a 4-year rotation cycle. The abstraction of groundwater is a sensitive issue in the Sandveld as groundwater also plays a critical role in supplying water to towns in the area, water for domestic use, and it also plays a critical role in sustaining sensitive ecosystems (such as the coastal lake Velorenvlei).

The groundwater resources have been monitored for nearly thirty years now. The results indicate areas where a slow but consistent decline in groundwater levels and groundwater quality is occurring. The trends can also predict when the aquifers will become depleted, and the groundwater will become too saline for use. This is critical information for management interventions to be implemented now to protect the area from irreversible damage.

Abstract

Underground coal gasification (UCG) is a high-temperature mining method that gasifies coal in situ to produce a synthetic gas that can be used as feedstock for industrial purposes. Coal conversion leads to mineral transformation in the gasifier, which ultimately interacts with the rebounding groundwater post-gasification. This poses a groundwater contamination risk, the biggest environmental risk from a UCG geo reactor. There is currently no model for UCG operators and regulators to assess the total risk of groundwater contamination from UCG operations. This study collates literature on groundwater contamination from UCG operations and presents a workable but comprehensive groundwater risk assessment model for a spent UCG chamber. The model follows the source-pathway-receptor arrangement where groundwater contamination sources are identified as ash, char, roof and floor. All possible pathways are assessed for hydraulic connections with the spent geo-reactor via acceptable geochemical tests, including stable isotopes, hydrochemistry and stratification analysis. Finally, the receptor aquifers (e.g. shallow aquifers) are monitored periodically to determine if contamination has occurred.

Abstract

Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) is increasingly utilised to optimise the efficiency of Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) systems. However, the criteria for selecting ATES over Unidirectional GSHP is not well-defined. Inappropriate selection of AETS can adversely impact the long-term viability and the GSHP system itself, as well as regional hydraulic and thermal sustainability due to adverse groundwater levels and temperature change. This is a concern in urban aquifers, where GSHP systems are increasingly common. There is a perception that ATES is always the most efficient; however, there is no clear definition of efficiency and how it can be readily assessed at the GSHP design stage. It is proposed and demonstrated herein that GSHP efficiency can be assessed by modelling borehole pumping in lieu of complex Coefficient of Performance calculations for the whole GSHP system. Borehole pumping is a more readily definable modelling outcome for comparing options at an individual site but is also a suitable proxy for comparing efficiency at different sites when given as a flow per unit rate of pumping. Operational efficiencies for ATES versus Unidirectional systems are presented using the pumping rate criteria for modelled scenarios. Here, three model inputs are varied: 1) the balance of heating and cooling, 2) the configuration of a single borehole pair across a hydraulic gradient and 3) the hydraulic gradient itself. These were assessed using coupled groundwater flow and heat transport modelling in Feflow to refine the Goldilocks Zone, the perfect balance, for these variables.

Abstract

Machine learning techniques are gaining recognition as tools to underpin water resources management. Applications range widely, from groundwater potential mapping to the calibration of groundwater models. This research applies machine learning techniques to map and predict nitrate contamination across a large multilayer aquifer in central Spain. The overall intent is to use the results to improve the groundwater monitoring network. Twenty supervised classifiers of different families were trained and tested on a dataset of fifteen explanatory variables and approximately two thousand points. Tree-based classifiers, such as random forests, with predictive values above 0.9, rendered the best results. The most important explanatory variables were slope, the unsaturated zone’s estimated thickness, and lithology. The outcomes lead to three major conclusions: (a) the method is accurate enough at the regional scale and is versatile enough to export to other settings; (b) local-scale information is lost in the absence of detailed knowledge of certain variables, such as recharge; (c) incorporating the time scale to the spatial scale remains a challenge for the future.

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the groundwater circulation and hydrogeochemical evolution in the coastal zone of Xiamen, southeast China, which can provide a reference for the development of water resources and the protection of soil and water environment in the coastal areas. A close connection between mountains and the sea characterizes the southeast coast of China. Although rainfall is abundant, the topography limits it, and water resources quickly run into the sea. Coupled with a concentrated population, water is scarce. In addition, this area’s water and sediment environment are influenced by human activities and geological conditions. Its changing trend also needs further study. Therefore, using hydrochemical analysis, isotope technology, numerical simulation and other techniques, this study took Xiamen City on the southeast coast as an example to study the groundwater circulation and the environmental evolution of water and sediment. The results show that although the aquifer is thinner, there is still deep groundwater circulation, and the seawater intrusion range of deep aquifer is much further than that of shallow aquifer. In addition to geological causes, human activities have become the main factors affecting groundwater quality, especially nitrate and lead. The nitrate content even exceeds the content of the major ionic components. Introducing land-based pollutants has also contributed to declining seawater and sediment quality in the Bay area. In general, the main pollutants in coastal areas include nutrients, heavy metals and new pollutants.

Abstract

Recent findings allow a better insight into the interaction between two aquifers and their vulnerabilities at the groundwater extraction site of Velm, which produces drinking water for around 55,000 households. The shallow aquifer that is exploited is situated in the Formation of Hannut. This aquifer is vulnerable to pollution, especially from the agricultural lands close to the extraction site and is sensitive to natural recharge. In this case, the groundwater is captured in a basin via a naturally occurring spring flow. The second aquifer is situated in the Cretaceous at 50 to 100 m below the surface and is pumped by four wells. The drinking water quality is guaranteed by mixing and treating these two waters. To optimize the central decalcification and the pollution risks, the production volume in the deep aquifer was increased from 2017 to 2021 at the expense of the shallow aquifer. This led to a decrease in the available volumes of the shallow aquifer, which indicated a leakage from the shallow to the deeper aquifer, which was unexpected. Groundwater modelling and time series analysis have been used to assess the impact of the increased production volumes and the longer dry periods. Based on this data, a maximum production volume of 1,000,000 m3 /year is considered best for the cretaceous aquifer. With this extraction rate in the Cretaceous, it is possible to supply sufficient drinking water and limit the impact on the Formation of Hannut.

Abstract

Deploying a participatory approach for surveying the complex geohydrological system and defining the status of the groundwater resources in the Kunzila catchment area has crucial importance towards conjunctive use of its water and land resources for sustainable economic growth, social well-being, and environmental protection. Several initiatives are being undertaken to pilot the ‘Integrated Landscape Management and WASH’ project in this community to implement evidence-based approaches. A comprehensive hydrogeological study has been carried out to understand the hydrogeological system, propose ecosystem restoration measures, identify suitable locations for drilling boreholes and design a groundwater and surface water monitoring network.

The first results pointed out the central area of the catchment as holding the best potential for groundwater abstraction, a productive Late Quaternary basalt aquifer. As this area is in use by private floriculture farms, several other borehole locations were sited to meet the domestic and livelihood demand across the watershed. In addition to the drinking water supply goals, the project proposed catchment intervention for soil and water conservation based on the Landscape Approach and 3R measures implementation - Retain, Recharge, Reuse. Such measures include but were not limited to riparian vegetation restoration, terracing and contour bunds, agroforestry, controlled grazing, etc. A telemetric monitoring network has been designed and installed to support the conjunctive management of shallow and deep groundwater water resources, streams and Lake Tana, together with a functional dashboard for data registrations and sharing. The monitoring program gauges the impact of groundwater abstraction and the quality parameters.

Abstract

On the slopes of Mount Bromo, East Java (Indonesia), the land use of the Rejoso watershed is dominated by rice fields and sugarcane ( lowland area ), agroforestry (midstream) and horticulture and pine plantation in the upstream part. During the last three decades, some land changes driven by socio-economic development, with conversion of agroforests to rice fields, tree monoculture and horticulture, and the development of urban areas nearby, increased pressure on the watershed. Intensive irrigated rice cultivation is using groundwater from free-flowing artesian wells. Due to a lack of management, the hydraulic head and discharge of the major spring are decreasing. Rejoso watershed, like others in urban and rural areas in Indonesia, is facing challenges to guarantee sustainable integrated water resources management. Collective solutions have been implemented between 2016 and 2022 within this watershed. In the downstream, sustainable paddy cultivation and wells management with local stakeholders, aiming at improving water efficiency, have been piloted on 65 ha with 184 farmers. Water governance at the district level was re-activated and strengthened thanks to the project. Various capacity-building tools were used via radio talk shows and workshops. Members of the watershed forum of Pasuruan took some actions to reshape the structure and set up a roadmap. The implementation of collective solutions in the field was a real catalyst and serves all levels of water governance, as it is replicable. This example will be explained and illustrated after the presentation of the socio-hydrogeological context.

Abstract

Northern India and Pakistan face some of the world’s most challenging surface water and groundwater management issues over the coming decades. High groundwater abstraction, widespread canal irrigation, increases in glacier melt and changes to rainfall impact the dynamics of surface water/groundwater interactions in the Indus Basin and Upper Ganges. Studies using newly available data from long-term hydrographs, high-frequency stable isotope sampling and campaign sampling for groundwater residence time indicators are shedding light on the complex interactions between groundwater, surface water and rainfall. Interactions vary spatially: (1) with distance down the catchment, related to the prevailing rainfall gradient, and (2) with position in the canal command, both distance from barrage and distance from feeder canals. Interactions are also observed to vary with time due to (1) the historical evolution of the canal network, (2) patterns in precipitation over the past 120 years, (3) changes in river flow due to glacial melting, and (4) increased pumping, which has also led to increased capture of surface water. Only by understanding and quantifying the different processes affecting groundwater/surface water coupling in the Indus and Upper Ganges is it possible to forecast future groundwater storage changes.

Abstract

Transboundary aquifers in Europe are managed according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) through international river basin districts (IRBD) management plans. Paragraph 11 in the WFD states that each Member State shall ensure the establishment of a programme of measures, PoM, for each river basin district, RBD, or part of an IRBD within its territory. Easy access to harmonized data from neighbouring countries part of the aquifer is essential to analyse the groundwater status and make proper PoMs. The datasets must be available in machine-readable format via an Application Programming Interface (API) and, where relevant, as a bulk download. The metadata describing the data shall be within the scope of the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) data themes set. The datasets must also be described in a complete and publicly available online documentation describing the data structure. Using a questionnaire survey of nine European countries, groundwater sampling and analysis routines are compared to evaluate if data are comparable and accessible across borders.

Abstract

The 16th Lum Nam Jone reservoir is located in Chachoengsao Province, Thailand. Since 2019, water has become highly acidic with a pH of 2.5-3.5 and contaminated by heavy metals. The groundwater plume is associated with high concentrations of Iron (60 – 3,327 mg/L), Manganese (38 – 803 mg/L), Copper (5 –500 mg/L), Zinc (11 –340 mg/L), and high Total Dissolved Solids (2,600 –23,000 mg/L). The hydrogeochemical assessment confirmed that the contamination is related to the molybdenum ore processing plant located upgradient. The industrial wastewater was illegally discharged underground and flowed to the reservoir due to a hydraulic gradient. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the efficiency of different reactive materials for In-situ remediation using a permeable reactive barrier (PRB). The experiment column setup showed that marl has the highest efficiency in elevating pH by 3.6 units. The Fe, Cu, and Zn removal rates by crushed shells were 100, 98, and 60%, respectively. The Fe, Cu, and Zn removal rates by limestone were 100, 73, and 32%, respectively. The Fe, Cu, and Zn removal rates by marl were 100, 100, and 48%, respectively. Regarding the laboratory-scale experiment, the pilot PRB was installed upstream of the reservoir. The PRB was filled with marl at the bottom, overlain by limestone, and then covered with the uppermost rice straw layer. The pH increased by 2.6 units inside PRB (from pH 3.1 to 5.7). A reduction of about 50% in Fe, 85% in Cu, and 50% in Zn had been achieved.

Abstract

Italian urban areas are characterized by centuries-old infrastructure: 35% of the building stock was built before 1970, and about 75% is thermally inefficient. Besides, between 60% and 80% of buildings’ energy consumption is attributed to space heating. Open-loop Groundwater Heat Pumps (GWHPs) represent one of the most suitable solutions for increasing the percentage of energy consumption from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in cities such as Turin city (NW Italy). However, allowing the diffusion of GWHPs cannot be disregarded by the knowledge about hydrogeological urban settings. As the thermally affected zone (TAZ) development could affect energetically adjacent systems, the TAZ extension must be well-predicted to guarantee the systems’ long-term sustainable use. Different buildings of the Politecnico di Torino are cooled during the summer by 3 different GWHP systems. To investigate possible interactions with other neighbouring plants and to preserve the water resource by capturing its positive and productive aspects from an energy point of view, a complex urban-scale numerical model was set up for comprehensively analysing the impact of the geothermal plants on the shallow aquifer. Different simulation scenarios have been performed to define possible criteria for improving the energy functionality of the groundwater resource. Besides, the extent of the TAZ generated was defined as a function of the specific functioning modes of the different GWHP systems. Numerical simulations, legally required by competent authorities, represent a fundamental tool to be applied for defining hydrogeological constraints derived from the GWHPs diffusion in Italian cities.

Abstract

Rising shallow groundwater temperatures are observed in many cities worldwide and are expected to increase further over the next century due to anthropogenic activities and climate change. The impact of groundwater temperature increase on groundwater quality is poorly understood. This study conducted two high-spatial-resolution campaigns in Vienna (Austria, autumn 2021/ spring 2022). At 150 wells, a comprehensive parameter set (e.g. major ions, nutrients, and water stable isotopes) was analyzed in groundwater collected, and at 812 wells, the water temperature was measured. Results are compared to available long-term data on groundwater chemistry (1991-2020). In theory, temperature triggers a cascade of effects, where, finally, the depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO) causes a switch to anaerobic microbial processes and a deterioration of water quality. No direct relation between DO and water temperature was observed between 10 and 20 °C. However, many wells delivered anoxic groundwater, including the one with the highest measured temperature (27 °C). The highest temperatures were consistently observed near potential heat sources (local scale), with a rapid decrease in temperature with increasing distance from these sources. Long-term data from particular high-temperature wells revealed decreased dissolved oxygen after sudden temperature changes of > 5 K. On a regional scale, it is observed that groundwater-surface water interactions and aquifer properties play a pivotal role in oxygen availability and redox conditions. In conclusion, high-spatial-resolution sampling combined with long-term data analysis is needed to determine the impact of temperature on water quality.

Abstract

Stable isotopes of the water are widely used in volcanic contexts to identify the recharge area, thanks to a strong orographic effect. Such data help improve the study areas’ conceptual model, especially to identify flow paths through the volcanic edifice. The most common pattern considered is a high to medium-elevation recharge area on a flank of the volcano, feeding both local perched aquifers and a deep basal aquifer. This is quite common for “shield volcanoes”, with the flank comprising a thick accumulation of lava flows. On composite volcanoes, especially in a volcanic arc context, the large diversity of lithologies (effusive/ destructive events dynamics) along the flanks may create a compartmented aquifers system. The Arjuno-Welirang-Ringgit volcanic complex (East Java) has been studied to elaborate a hydrogeological conceptual model. Stable isotopes of the water show significant results in identifying the recharge areas of several aquifers that are outflowing at a similar range of elevation. These results help to propose a water flow pattern from the recharge areas to the main springs with juxtaposed and superposed aquifers. This also leads to constraining the geometry of the aquifers and concluding that one volcanic complex with several recharge areas can feed juxtaposed aquifers. These results also highlight the need to adapt the study scale to each “point of interest” in the volcanic context, as each spring shows a different flowing pattern, preferential recharge elevation, and surface area. These are mandatory data to propose an adapted groundwater management.