sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Resources and Sustainable Utilization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2023) | Viewed by 9475

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Croatain Geological Survey, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: karst hydrogeology; hydrochemistry; salt/freshwater relations; groundwater dy-namics; groundwater protection; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Croatian Geological Survey, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: hydrothermal systems; island and coastal aquifers; geophysical research; numerical modeling; groundwater management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For a significant part of the global population, groundwater is a water source for drinking, irrigation, and technical processes, or a heat source/sink in heat pump systems. Thermal groundwater is also used for multiple purposes, ranging from recreation and medical treatments to district heating and electricity generation. The groundwater resources are limited and under constant pressure due to population increase, economic growth, and contamination by a wide range of standardly considered, as well as constantly emerging new pollutants. Therefore, the topics of groundwater protection and sustainable utilization, from both a quantitative and qualitative/chemical point of view, are very relevant, and their importance will increase if the aforementioned global trends continue. Groundwater resources are also foreseen to have a significant role in the green energy transition, in heat pump systems for heating and cooling, and in heating and electricity generation using thermal water, all of which represent low-carbon technologies. This duality of use—for water supply and energy purposes—could lead to conflicts of interest among different types of users in the future, which is already happening in densely populated areas.

This Special Issue considers papers investigating all aspects of groundwater protection and sustainable utilization: hydrogeological, hydrological, hydrochemical and geophysical research, groundwater management including drinking water protection areas, vulnerability, modeling, artificial recharge, groundwater monitoring or early warning system establishment, legislative issues, and the use of shallow and deep aquifers for energy purposes.

Dr. Josip Terzić
Dr. Staša Borović
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • groundwater
  • groundwater protection
  • groundwater management
  • thermal water
  • groundwater heat pumps
  • geothermal district heating
  • geothermal power plant

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

24 pages, 37016 KiB  
Article
Impact of Open-Loop Systems on Groundwater Temperature in NE Slovenia
by Simona Adrinek, Mitja Janža and Mihael Brenčič
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813797 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 842
Abstract
To achieve sustainable and efficient use of shallow geothermal resources, it is important to understand the heat transfer in the subsurface of the planned geothermal system. In the City Municipality of Murska Sobota, NE Slovenia, the use of geothermal open-loop systems has increased [...] Read more.
To achieve sustainable and efficient use of shallow geothermal resources, it is important to understand the heat transfer in the subsurface of the planned geothermal system. In the City Municipality of Murska Sobota, NE Slovenia, the use of geothermal open-loop systems has increased in recent years. Their high spatial density raises the question of possible mutual interference between the systems. By compiling geological, hydrogeological, and thermal data, obtained from the monitoring network, fieldwork, and knowledge of regional hydrogeological conditions, we have developed a transient groundwater flow and heat transfer model to evaluate the impact of the open-loop systems on the subsurface and surrounding systems. The transient simulation showed that the thermal state in the observed area is restored over the summer, when the systems are not in operation. Also, the systems do not have significant mutual interference that would affect their efficiency. However, as interest in installing new systems in the area increases, simulations of the thermal plumes of new geothermal systems are needed to ensure sustainable and efficient use of shallow geothermal energy in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 10773 KiB  
Article
Reconstruction of Fault Architecture in the Natural Thermal Spring Area of Daruvar Hydrothermal System Using Surface Geophysical Investigations (Croatia)
by Ivan Kosović, Maja Briški, Mirja Pavić, Božo Padovan, Ivica Pavičić, Bojan Matoš, Marco Pola and Staša Borović
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612134 - 8 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
The sustainable utilization of geothermal energy mostly depends on the characteristics of the geothermal resource from which it is extracted. Among others, detailed geological modeling is a key factor for estimating the potential of a geothermal resource. This research focuses on the modeling [...] Read more.
The sustainable utilization of geothermal energy mostly depends on the characteristics of the geothermal resource from which it is extracted. Among others, detailed geological modeling is a key factor for estimating the potential of a geothermal resource. This research focuses on the modeling and reconstruction of the geological setting of the Daruvar thermal spring area using geophysical techniques. An integrated geophysical approach based on electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and both active and passive seismic (MASW and HVSR) methods was used. Based on ERT results and the stratigraphic logs of the wells in Daruvar, three resistivity layers/geological units were identified. The deepest layer with resistivity < 150 Ωm is the Triassic carbonate that constitutes the thermal aquifer. Sharp lateral variations in the resistivity distributions within the bedrock were interpreted as fault damage zones saturated with thermal waters. Integrating the results of the seismic methods, the thickness of the first seismic layer that corresponds to the Quaternary cover was estimated from 5 to 20 m. Here, results of the geophysical investigations were combined into a 3D geological model highlighting the occurrence of subvertical N-S and E-W trending faults in the Daruvar spring area. The N-S-trending fault was interpreted as a fault plane parallel to the regionally mapped Daruvar fault. This fault juxtaposes the Triassic carbonate complex of the thermal aquifer with a Neogene sedimentary sequence of significantly lower permeability. Neogene–Quaternary tectonic activity further increased the fracturing and the permeability field in the Daruvar spring area, as proven by the smaller scale E-W faults and the well logs. This fracture network permits a quick upwelling of thermal fluids resulting in thermal springs with temperatures up to 50 °C. This work proves that the construction of a detailed geological model is crucial for assessing the reservoir and fault geometries in thermal systems hosted in fractured carbonate rocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 10925 KiB  
Article
The Impact on Karst Aquifer Regimes Induced by a Surface Reservoir in Karst through Multiparametric Analyses (Reservoir Bileća—Herzegovina)
by Saša Milanović, Ljiljana Vasić, Branislav Petrović, Tina Dašić, Veljko Marinović and Petar Vojnović
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11968; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511968 - 3 Aug 2023
Viewed by 882
Abstract
The results of long-term groundwater monitoring in the Bileća reservoir adjacent (eastern Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina) indicate that there is a good hydraulic connection between the reservoir and the karst aquifer located in the right bank of the reservoir. In remote parts of [...] Read more.
The results of long-term groundwater monitoring in the Bileća reservoir adjacent (eastern Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina) indicate that there is a good hydraulic connection between the reservoir and the karst aquifer located in the right bank of the reservoir. In remote parts of the right-bank karst aquifer, due to complex lithostratigraphic characteristics and a tectonic structure, the influence of the reservoir is very variable and has been insufficiently studied up until now. This paper presents the analysis and synthesis of new, relevant hydrogeological data, as a basis for the creation of a 3D spatial model, i.e., the analysis of the karst system’s behaviour, both under regular and artificial hydrological conditions of surface reservoir construction and its continuous use (filling and emptying). The interactive connection of the model and complex surface and groundwater time series monitoring data of this system is presented through the analysis of its hydrodynamic characteristics, which completes the spatial model of the karst regime caused by low and high groundwater levels and low and high reservoir water levels. The integration of all the data into one model and further multiparametric analyses revealed the different types of hydrodynamic conditions prevailing in the karst aquifer with regard to the influence of the high or low waters of the reservoir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 6077 KiB  
Article
Identification of Aquifer and Pumped Well Parameters Using the Data Hidden in Non-Linear Losses
by Kosta Urumović, Josip Terzić, Jasna Kopić and Ivan Kosović
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411170 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
During the pumping of wells, the groundwater level drawdown, as measured in the pumped well, is increased by non-linear losses caused by the water flow velocity through the well screens. This undermines the adequacy of the direct use of the measured drawdown data [...] Read more.
During the pumping of wells, the groundwater level drawdown, as measured in the pumped well, is increased by non-linear losses caused by the water flow velocity through the well screens. This undermines the adequacy of the direct use of the measured drawdown data in the well for the purpose of the realistic identification of the effective well radius and aquifer parameters. This anomaly is avoided by reshaping the drawdown function into a function of the specific drawdown sw/Q of the pumped well. This reshaping simplifies the exclusion of non-linear losses from the sequence of measured data of the water level in the well at the position of the effective radius of the pumped well. Combining the data of linear losses and the respective pumping rate of the pumped well, a function of the specific drawdown of the radial flow sw/Q was formed. This function describes the aquifer parameter relations during the respective test pumping. A consistent sequence of the function of the specific drawdown sw/Q of the pumped well reveals the actual value of the coefficient of nonlinear losses. Moreover, the specific drawdown function enables the reliable estimation of aquifer transmissivity using only the pumped well drawdown data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 9149 KiB  
Article
Definition of Circulation Conditions and Groundwater Genesis of the Complex Krupaja Hydrogeological Karst System (Eastern Serbia)
by Ljiljana Vasić, Saša Milanović and Tina Dašić
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11146; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411146 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 833
Abstract
The complex Krupaja karst system, located in Serbia, which consists of a strong karst spring, a thermal karst spring, and a borehole that captures sub-thermal waters, has been studied. A phenomenon which gives rise to the occurrence of karst waters of three different [...] Read more.
The complex Krupaja karst system, located in Serbia, which consists of a strong karst spring, a thermal karst spring, and a borehole that captures sub-thermal waters, has been studied. A phenomenon which gives rise to the occurrence of karst waters of three different temperatures within a relatively short distance (about 200 m) led us to assume that these karst waters are formed within the same karst aquifer and circulate through different levels of karst channels that are zonally distributed within a vertical profile; this was confirmed by assessing the groundwater ages. Based on the development of karstification, as presented in this paper, as well as on previous investigations, explanations of four types of circulation within same karst system are provided. The results of measurements of stable isotopes (H, 18O, and 13C) and radioactive isotopes of tritium and T+He and 14C, as well as hydrochemical water analyses, speleogenetic spatial modeling, speleodiving research, etc., confirmed the assumption that these groundwaters belong to the same karst system. However, these karst waters have different residence times, i.e., from only a few days to over several decades and even up to approximately 4000 years, circulating through channels with various distributions along the depth of the karst aquifer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1608 KiB  
Article
Feasibility Study of Managed Aquifer Recharge Deployment on the Island of Vis (Croatia)
by Matko Patekar, Mojca Soža, Marco Pola, Zoran Nakić, Mihaela Bašić, Josip Terzić and Staša Borović
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 9934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15139934 - 21 Jun 2023
Viewed by 860
Abstract
Over the last decades, the quality and quantity of the Mediterranean freshwater resources have significantly deteriorated due to climate change, unsustainable utilization, user conflicts, and seawater intrusions. On the small and remote island of Vis, where similar issues prevail, the need for alternative [...] Read more.
Over the last decades, the quality and quantity of the Mediterranean freshwater resources have significantly deteriorated due to climate change, unsustainable utilization, user conflicts, and seawater intrusions. On the small and remote island of Vis, where similar issues prevail, the need for alternative water management solutions has yielded managed aquifer recharge (MAR) as a promising option for increasing the safety and resilience of the local and autonomous water supply. By performing a cost–benefit analysis (CBA) to evaluate the feasibility of the deployment of an infiltration pond method in the Korita well field, the results evidenced a positive financial performance and sustainability of the proposed MAR solution. In addition, the overall economic benefits of the project, quantified through the willingness-to-pay method, significantly exceeded its costs, as evidenced by the high benefit/cost ratio of 2.83. The most significant uncertainty related to the infiltration pond method is represented by the high sensitivity to changes in the applied hydrological assumptions (i.e., the evaporation coefficient and number of annual infiltration pond recharges). This study aims to contribute to the understanding of interrelated socio-economic factors of MAR projects in karst aquifers, and represents the first of its kind in Croatia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4336 KiB  
Article
Multidisciplinary Research of Thermal Springs Area in Topusko (Croatia)
by Mirja Pavić, Ivan Kosović, Marco Pola, Kosta Urumović, Maja Briški and Staša Borović
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065498 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2028
Abstract
Topusko is the second warmest natural thermal water spring area in Croatia, located at the southwest edge of the Pannonian Basin System. Due to favourable geothermal properties, these waters have been used for heating and health and recreational tourism since the 1980s. Thermal [...] Read more.
Topusko is the second warmest natural thermal water spring area in Croatia, located at the southwest edge of the Pannonian Basin System. Due to favourable geothermal properties, these waters have been used for heating and health and recreational tourism since the 1980s. Thermal springs with temperatures up to 50 °C are the final part of an intermediate-scale hydrothermal system. However, systematic research on the Topusko spring area has not been conducted to lay the foundation for sustainable resource utilisation. Multidisciplinary research including the hydrogeochemical characterisation of naturally emerging thermal water, an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) investigation conducted to reconstruct the subsurface geology, and hydrogeological parametrisation of the geothermal aquifer was carried out to refine the existing local conceptual model. The results show Ca-HCO3 facies of Topusko thermal waters, which get heated in a Mesozoic carbonate aquifer. The water equilibrium temperature in the geothermal aquifer is estimated to be 78 °C based on the SiO2-quartz geothermometer. The fault damage zone, which enables the upwelling of thermal water, was identified by ERT investigations. The transmissivity values of the aquifer derived from the results of step-drawdown tests range from 1.8 × 10−2 to 2.3 × 10−2 m2/s. Further multidisciplinary research is necessary to improve the existing conceptual model of the Topusko hydrothermal system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 13170 KiB  
Article
Sustainability of an Open-Loop GWHP System in an Italian Alpine Valley
by Davide Cappellari, Leonardo Piccinini, Alessandro Pontin and Paolo Fabbri
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010270 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1502
Abstract
Shallow geothermal systems (SGSs) for building climatization represent an advantageous alternative to traditional air-conditioning systems, resulting in economic and environmental benefits. Installation of these systems requires knowledge of site-specific geological and hydrogeological conditions, which in feasibility studies are often evaluated only at the [...] Read more.
Shallow geothermal systems (SGSs) for building climatization represent an advantageous alternative to traditional air-conditioning systems, resulting in economic and environmental benefits. Installation of these systems requires knowledge of site-specific geological and hydrogeological conditions, which in feasibility studies are often evaluated only at the single plant scale, lacking a comprehensive view and risking not to guarantee the system sustainability over time. In this paper a methodology for the sustainable design of SGSs is presented. The methodology is developed from an example on the aquifer scale in Longarone (Belluno, Italy), where three groundwater heat pumps (GWHPs) were installed in an industrial area located in a mountain basin hosting a coarse-grained phreatic aquifer, characterized by sediments with high hydraulic conductivity and proximal to a large river (Piave River). Open-loop systems were first analyzed through numerical modeling using FEFLOW software, identifying peculiar features of the aquifer, due to its interaction with surface waters, and suggesting the possibility of its greater geothermal exploitation. Subsequently, a relationship between flow rates and thermal plume extensions was obtained, which is useful to providing support in the evaluation of potential interference with neighboring systems. The study at the aquifer scale proved representative of the system, highlighting the criticalities of the area, such as trends of aquifer temperature alteration, interference between plants, and thermal feedback. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Protection and Sustainable Utilization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop