Special Issue "Geo-Environmental Approaches for the Analysis and Assessment of Groundwater Resources at Catchment-Scale"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Evangelos Tziritis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Soil and Water Resources Institute (SWRI), Hellenic Agricultural Organization, Sindos-Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: hydrogeochemistry; groundwater quality; environmental indicators; aquifer vulnerability; isotope hydrology
Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Soil and Water Resources Institute (SWRI), Hellenic Agricultural Organization, Sindos-Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: monitoring; quality assessment; groundwater; modelling; aquifer characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the variable and often diverse methodologies for the analysis and assessment of groundwater resources. These may include, but are not limited to, hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical modeling; environmental isotopes; environmental indicators and envirometrics; geostatistics; and artificial intelligence. The complexity of the different hydrological and hydrogeological set-ups, the hydrodynamic patterns, the site specifications, and the wide variability of internal and external factors and/or processes impacting groundwater quality and quantity on the catchment-scale level impose the need for combined integrated approaches of robust methods, leading to more accurate and reliable outcomes toward sustainable groundwater management. Sound knowledge of a studied groundwater system may reduce the uncertainty of predicting its future evolution, thus enabling its better management and protection whilst limiting the need to hypothesize. In line with the above goal, the Guest Editors will consider papers that will combine and jointly evaluate the outcomes of different methods, such as those described. The papers should reflect new insights on the joint application and co-assessment of these methods for groundwater resources and ideally explore new state-of-the-art methodological concepts in light of a rapidly changing environment impacted by external anthropogenic stresses (e.g., climate change impact, urbanization, intense agriculture, droughts, water scarcity, overexploitation of water reserves) or inherent geogenic factors (e.g., geological regime, natural processes). Theoretical approaches, lab experimentation, and successful field test cases are equally welcome to serve as paradigms for the international scientific community to be inspired by and adopt.

Dr. Evangelos Tziritis
Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos
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 papers will be 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. Water 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 2000 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

  • hydrogeology
  • hydrogeochemisrty
  • modeling
  • isotope hydrology
  • environmental indicators
  • geostatistics
  • artificial intelligence

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Groundwater of the Modder River Catchment of South Africa: A Sustainability Prediction
Water 2021, 13(7), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070936 - 29 Mar 2021
Viewed by 526
Abstract
This paper presents a spatial interpolation of the hydrological and socioeconomic processes impacting groundwater systems to predict the sustainability of the Modder river catchment of South Africa. These processes are grouped as climatic (factor A), aquifer sustainability (factor D), social-economic and land use [...] Read more.
This paper presents a spatial interpolation of the hydrological and socioeconomic processes impacting groundwater systems to predict the sustainability of the Modder river catchment of South Africa. These processes are grouped as climatic (factor A), aquifer sustainability (factor D), social-economic and land use (factor B), and the human-induced parameters of rights and equity (factor C). The parameters evaluated for factors A and D included climatic zones, precipitation, sunshine, evapotranspiration, slope, topography, recharge, yields, storativity, aquifer types, and lithology/rock types. Factors B and C included population in the catchment, use per capita, water uses, tariffs and duration of the permits, pump rate per year, number of issued permits per year in the catchment, and number of boreholes in the sub-catchment. This paper, therefore, looks at the impact of the average values of the chosen set of parameters within the given factors A, B, C and D on groundwater in the C52 catchment of the Modder River, as modelled in a sustainability index. C52 is an Upper Orange catchment in South Africa. The results are presented in sustainability maps predicting areas in the catchment with differing groundwater dynamics. The Modder River groundwater sustainability ranged between low and moderate sustainability. The sustainability maps were validated with actual field groundwater recharge and surface water, a comparison between storativity and licensed volume, and a comparison of sustainability scores and storativity. The key finding in this paper will assist groundwater managers and users to adequately plan groundwater resources, especially on licensing and over pumping. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Hydrogeochemical and Hydrodynamic Assessment of Tirnavos Basin, Central Greece
Water 2021, 13(6), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060759 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
A combined hydrogeochemical and hydrodynamic characterization for the assessment of key aspects related to groundwater resources management was performed in a highly productive agricultural basin of the Thessaly region in central Greece. A complementary suite of tools and methods—including graphical processing, hydrogeochemical modeling, [...] Read more.
A combined hydrogeochemical and hydrodynamic characterization for the assessment of key aspects related to groundwater resources management was performed in a highly productive agricultural basin of the Thessaly region in central Greece. A complementary suite of tools and methods—including graphical processing, hydrogeochemical modeling, multivariate statistics and environmental isotopes—have been applied to a comprehensive dataset of physicochemical analyses and water level measurements. Results revealed that the initial hydrogeochemistry of groundwater was progressively impacted by secondary phenomena (e.g., ion exchange and redox reactions) which were clearly delineated into distinct zones according to data processing. The progressive evolution of groundwater was further verified by the variation of the saturation indices of critical minerals. In addition, the combined use of water level measurements delineated the major pathways of groundwater flow. Interestingly, the additional joint assessment of environmental isotopes revealed a new pathway from E–NE (which had never before been validated), thus highlighting the importance of the joint tools/methods application in complex scientific tasks. The application of multivariate statistics identified the dominant processes that control hydrogeochemistry and fit well with identified hydrodynamic mechanisms. These included (as dominant factor) the salinization impact due to the combined use of irrigation water return and evaporitic mineral leaching, as well as the impact of the geogenic calcareous substrate (mainly karstic calcareous formations and dolostones). Secondary factors, acting as processes (e.g., redox and ion exchange), were identified and found to be in line with initial assessment, thus validating the overall characterization. Finally, the outcomes may prove to be valuable in the progression toward sustainable groundwater resources management. The results have provided spatial and temporal information for significant parameters, sources, and processes—which, as a methodological approach, could be adopted in similar cases of other catchments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Modeling System for the Evaluation of Water Resources in Coastal Agricultural Watersheds: Application in Almyros Basin, Thessaly, Greece
Water 2021, 13(3), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030268 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 536
Abstract
This study presents an integrated modeling system for the evaluation of the quantity and quality of water resources of coastal agricultural watersheds. The modeling system consists of coupled and interrelated models, including (i) a surface hydrology model (UTHBAL), (ii) a groundwater hydrology model [...] Read more.
This study presents an integrated modeling system for the evaluation of the quantity and quality of water resources of coastal agricultural watersheds. The modeling system consists of coupled and interrelated models, including (i) a surface hydrology model (UTHBAL), (ii) a groundwater hydrology model (MODFLOW), (iii) a crop growth/nitrate leaching model (REPIC, an R-ArcGIS-based EPIC model), (iv) a groundwater contaminant transport model (MT3DMS), and (v) a groundwater seawater intrusion model (SEAWAT). The efficacy of the modeling system to simulate the quantity and quality of water resources has been applied to the Almyros basin in Thessaly, Greece. It is a coastal agricultural basin with irrigated and intensified agriculture facing serious groundwater problems, such as groundwater depletion, nitrate pollution, and seawater intrusion. Irrigation demands were estimated for the main crops cultivated in the area, based on precipitation and temperature from regional weather stations. The models have been calibrated and validated against time-series of observed crop yields, groundwater table observations, and observed concentrations of nitrates and chlorides. The results indicate that the modeling system simulates the water resources quantity and quality with increased accuracy. The proposed modeling system could be used as a tool for the simulation of water resources management and climate change scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Checking the Plausibility of Modelled Nitrate Concentrations in the Leachate on Federal State Scale in Germany
Water 2021, 13(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020226 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
In Germany, modelled nitrate concentrations in the leachate are of great importance for the development of scenarios for the long-term achievement of the groundwater quality target according to the specific requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive as well as within the context [...] Read more.
In Germany, modelled nitrate concentrations in the leachate are of great importance for the development of scenarios for the long-term achievement of the groundwater quality target according to the specific requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive as well as within the context of the recently adopted general administrative regulation for the designation of nitrate-polluted areas in Germany. For the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP), an area-covering modelling of mean long-term nitrate concentrations in leachate with high spatial resolution was carried out using the model system RAUMIS-mGROWA-DENUZ. Hotspot regions with nitrate concentrations in the leachate of 50 mg NO3/L and more were identified for intensively farmed areas in the Münsterland, Lower Rhine, and Vorderpfalz. The validity of modelled values was checked using measured values from 1119 preselected monitoring stations from shallow springs and aquifers filtered near to the surface with oxidizing properties. For the land use categories of urban areas, arable land, grassland, and forest, an at least good agreement of modelled nitrate concentrations in the leachate and measured nitrate concentrations in groundwater was obtained at numerous sites. An equally good agreement was obtained for 1461 measuring stations from the area of responsibility of the Erftverband, which is a major water supplier in the Lower Rhine region. Here, discrepancies have been analyzed in detail due to profound regional knowledge on observation sites. It turned out that in most cases, accuracy limitations of input data (e.g., N balance surpluses of agriculture at the municipal level, 1:50,000 soil map) have been the reason for larger deviations between observed and modelled values. In a broader sense, the case study has shown on the one hand that the model system RAUMIS-mGROWA-DENUZ is able to reliably represent interrelationships and influencing factors that determine simulated nitrate concentrations in the leachate. On the other hand, it has been proven that observed nitrate concentrations in groundwater may provide a solid data source for checking the plausibility of modelled nitrate concentrations in leachate in cases where certain preselection criteria are applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Effects of Agricultural Water Management in a Mediterranean Coastal Aquifer under Current and Projected Climate Conditions
Water 2021, 13(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010108 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Coastal delta plains are areas with high agricultural potential for the Mediterranean region because of their high soil fertility, but they also constitute fragile systems in terms of water resources management because of the interaction of underlying aquifers with the sea. Such a [...] Read more.
Coastal delta plains are areas with high agricultural potential for the Mediterranean region because of their high soil fertility, but they also constitute fragile systems in terms of water resources management because of the interaction of underlying aquifers with the sea. Such a case is the Pinios River delta plain located in central Greece, which also constitutes a significant ecosystem. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and SEAWAT models were combined in order to simulate the impact of current water resources management practices in main groundwater budget components and groundwater salinization of the shallow aquifer developed in the area. Moreover, potential climate change impact was investigated using climate data from Regional Climate Model for two projected periods (2021–2050 and 2071–2100) and two sea level rise scenarios (increase by 0.5 and 1 m). Modeling results are providing significant insight: although the contribution of the river to groundwater inflows is significant, direct groundwater recharge from precipitation was found to be higher, while capillary rise constitutes a major part of groundwater outflows from the aquifer. Moreover, during the simulation period, groundwater flow from the aquifer to the sea were found to be higher than the inflows of seawater to the aquifer. Regarding climate change impact assessment, the results indicate that the variability in groundwater recharge posed by the high variability of precipitation during the projected periods is increasing the aquifer’s deterioration potential of both its quantity and quality status, the latter expressed by the increased groundwater Cl concentration. This evidence becomes more significant because of the limited groundwater storage capacity of the aquifer. Concerning sea level rise, it was found to be less significant in terms of groundwater salinization impact compared to the decrease in groundwater recharge and increase in crop water needs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Drought Index as Indicator of Salinization of the Salento Aquifer (Southern Italy)
Water 2020, 12(7), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071927 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 609
Abstract
Salento peninsula (Southern Italy) hosts a coastal carbonate and karst aquifer. The semi-arid climate is favourable to human settlement and the development of tourism and agricultural activities, which involve high water demand and groundwater exploitation rates, in turn causing groundwater depletion and salinization. [...] Read more.
Salento peninsula (Southern Italy) hosts a coastal carbonate and karst aquifer. The semi-arid climate is favourable to human settlement and the development of tourism and agricultural activities, which involve high water demand and groundwater exploitation rates, in turn causing groundwater depletion and salinization. In the last decades these issues worsened because of the increased frequency of droughts, which emerges from the analysis of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), calculated during 1949–2011 on the base of monthly precipitation. Groundwater level series and chloride concentrations, collected over the extreme drought period 1989–1990, allow a qualitative assessment of groundwater behaviour, highlighting the concurrent groundwater drought and salinization. Full article
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