Influence of Climate and Land Use Change on the Groundwater System of the Veluwe, The Netherlands: A Historical and Future Perspective
KWR Water Research Institute, 3430BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
Moisture Matters, 3533ED Utrecht, The Netherlands
Vitens, 6802CA Arnhem, The Netherlands
Flip Witte Ecohydrologie, 6862DC Oosterbeek, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Waterbedrijf Groningen, 9723DV Groningen, The Netherlands.
Current address: Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe, 7324AX Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2866; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102866
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 2 October 2020 / Accepted: 4 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use)
Changes in land use and climate have a large influence on groundwater recharge and levels. In The Netherlands, precipitation shifts from summer to winter are expected, combined with an increase in summer temperature leading to higher evaporation. These changes in climate could threaten the fresh water supply and increase the importance of large groundwater reservoirs. Sustainable management of these groundwater reservoirs, therefore, is crucial. Changes in land use could help mitigate the effects of climate change by decreasing the evaporation. In this study, we investigate the effect of changes in climate and land use on a large groundwater reservoir in The Netherlands, the Veluwe, for a historical period (1850–2016) and in the future (2036–2065). During the historical period, evaporation increased due to conversions from heather and drift sand to pine forest across the Veluwe. This change in land use had a larger effect on the groundwater recharge than change in climate over the historical period. In the future, an increase in winter precipitation will lead to higher groundwater levels in the elevated parts of the region. Surrounding areas are more vulnerable to an increase in dry periods in the summer. Groundwater reservoirs provide an opportunity to store water during wetter periods, which could alleviate drought impacts in surrounding regions during dry periods. Land use change, such as conversion from pine forest to other land use types, is a possible measure to increase water availability.