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Climate Change Induced Salinization of Drinking Water Inlets along a Tidal Branch of the Rhine River: Impact Assessment and an Adaptive Strategy for Water Resources Management

1
HydroLogic, P.O. Box 2177, 3800 CD Amersfoort, The Netherlands
2
Deltares (Unit Marine and Coastal Systems), P.O. Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
3
Rijkswaterstaat (Unit of Water, Traffic & Environment, Dept. of Water Management), Ministry of Infrastucture & Water Management, P.O. Box 2232, 3500 GE Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Dunea, Plein van de Verenigde Naties 11, 2719 EG Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7040049
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate-Change on Water Resources)
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Abstract

This study presents the results of an impact analysis of climate change on salinization and the long-term availability of drinking water resources along the river Lek, a tidal branch of the Rhine delta, and a potential mitigation measure. To this end, a one-dimensional modelling approach was used that enabled studying 50 years of variation in discharge and tide in current and future climate. It was found that all locations are increasingly vulnerable to salt intrusion caused by the combination of sea level rise and decreasing river discharges. This affects both the yearly average chloride concentration and long duration exceedances of the threshold value of 150 mg/L. It was also found that diverting a higher fresh water discharge to the Lek of several tens of cubic meters per second reduces the risk of salinization at the upstream inlet locations. However, the increased influence of seawater intrusion on the drinking water inlets cannot be fully compensated for by this measure. The potential gain of the extra water for the drinking water inlets along the Lek has to be balanced against the impact of this measure on water levels and stream flows in other parts of the river system. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; salinization; water resources management; drinking water climate change; salinization; water resources management; drinking water
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van den Brink, M.; Huismans, Y.; Blaas, M.; Zwolsman, G. Climate Change Induced Salinization of Drinking Water Inlets along a Tidal Branch of the Rhine River: Impact Assessment and an Adaptive Strategy for Water Resources Management. Climate 2019, 7, 49.

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