Abstract: Aquifers within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) provide a critical water supply throughout much of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Increased pumping has resulted in water level declines in this region. Recharge into this aquifer system is generally not well understood. Recent suggestions of probable decades-long droughts in the 21st century add to this problem. We show that geophysical methods can provide useful parameters for improved modeling of aquifers in a primary CRBG aquifer located on the eastern edge of the Columbia Plateau. Groundwater models depend in part on the area, thickness, porosity, storativity, and nature of confinement of this aquifer, most of which are poorly constrained by existing well information and previous stress tests. We have made use of surface gravity measurements, borehole gravity measurements, barometric efficiency estimates, earth tidal response, and earthquake seismology observations to constrain these parameters. We show that the aquifer, despite its persistent drawdown, receives a great deal of recharge annually. Much of the recharge to the aquifer is due to leakage from overlying flows, ultimately tied to precipitation, an important result for future aquifer management in times of sustained drought.
Abstract: Low flows of the Ilmenau River (1434 km2) in northwest Germany have decreased by about 25% over the last 50 years. In the same period, moderate climate changes have taken place and annual groundwater abstractions for sprinkler irrigation have increased by up to 50 hm3 (million m3), with a strong variation due to the respective prevailing weather conditions. Time-series analyses with multiple regression analysis allow detecting and quantifying different influences on low flows. It is also shown that farmers allocate irrigation water volumes carefully according to seasonal precipitation and temperatures. Decline of groundwater levels in summer and the low flow situation are aggravated by the cumulative effect of higher irrigation in drier years. Groundwater recharge and recovery of the water table have been observed subsequently during the winter season.
Abstract: Cities’ energy usage accounts for two thirds of global primary energy consumption. Energy efficiency in urban areas is, therefore, one of the most important topics to consider when dealing with urban sustainability. This paper evaluates the goals for increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in the areas of transportation, buildings and consumers’ awareness, as stated in the Climate action plan, for the municipality of Eskilstuna, Sweden. The efforts of the municipality to successfully reach their energy efficiency goals, are described in this paper including future perspectives. The results show that although the municipality counts with the advantage of owning and working together with the local housing company and energy provider, in order to reach the established goals, additional strategies need to be considered. For an increased use of renewable energy sources, analysis of rooftops suitable for photovoltaic (PV) installation should be carried out as well as the integration of goals for self-consumption. In the transport field, the city needs to prepare for large-scale electric vehicle (EV) market penetration and to consider different bike or car sharing options. Finally, more specific awareness campaigns are needed to engage the citizens in reducing their energy consumption and living a more sustainable life.
Abstract: Heat flow of the sedimentary succession of the Eastern Canada Sedimentary Basins varies from 40 mW/m2 close to the exposed shield in the north to high 60–70 mW/m2 in the southwest–northeast St. Lawrencecorridor. As high fluid flow rates are required for a successful geothermal application, the most important targets are deep existing permeable aquifers rather than hard rock, which would need to be fracked. Unfortunately, the ten most populated Québec urban centers are in the areas where the Grenville (Canadian Shield) is exposed or at shallow depths with sedimentary cover where temperatures are 30 °C or less. The city of Drummondville will be the exception, as the basement deepens sharply southwest, and higher temperatures reaching >120 °C are expected in the deep Cambrian sedimentary aquifers near a 4–5-km depth. Deep under the area where such sediments could be occurring under Appalachian nappes, temperatures significantly higher than 140 °C are predicted. In parts of the deep basin, temperatures as high as 80 °C–120 °C exist at depths of 3–4 km, mainly southeast of the major geological boundary: the Logan line. There is a large amount of heat resource at such depths to be considered in this area for district heating.
Abstract: Ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems have been proven to have higher efficiency compared to conventional air source heat pump systems for space heating and cooling applications. While vertical ground heat exchangers (GHE) are favorable in GSHP installation, this type of configuration requires higher capital costs as opposed to horizontal configuration. Numerical simulation has been used to accurately predict the thermal performance of GHE. In this paper, numerical analysis of thermal performance for slinky horizontal GHE loops in different orientations and operation modes is discussed. It was found that the loop orientation is not so important due to the little effect it has on thermal performance. While the mean heat exchange rate of copper loop increases 48% compared to HDPE loop, the analysis supports the common claim that heat exchange rate is predominantly limited by the thermal conductivity of the ground. With the same amount of circulation work, the mean heat exchange rate increases by 83%–162% when operated in parallel loops operations. The performance in these operations can be further optimized to 10%–14% increase when spacing between adjacent loops was provided. The spacing helps to minimize interference of heat flow that would penalize the overall thermal performance.
Abstract: Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Pacific over the last decade have established some of the most ambitious renewable energy targets in the world. The promotion of renewable energy has been motivated by a desire to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, given the adverse economic impacts of high oil prices on these countries. Efforts to attract development assistance and to strengthen the position of Pacific SIDS in climate change negotiations have likely also played a role. This paper explores the development of renewable energy resources in the Pacific through a public policy lens. The ambitious renewable energy targets established by Pacific SIDS are argued to be appropriate in some cases, but in other cases are criticised on economic grounds. A potential trade-off is identified between the risk mitigation benefits and poverty alleviation benefits of different renewable technology investments, with questions raised about whether support for the former rather than the latter by development partners is appropriate. A number of institutional and financial challenges to the development of renewable energy resources in Pacific SIDS are also discussed.