Special Issue "Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2022 | Viewed by 4718

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Claudia Cherubini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: hydrogeology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Groundwater provides essential freshwater supply, particularly in dry regions, karst regions and anywhere surface water availability is limited.

Erratic rainfall patterns and more extreme weather events caused by climate change can lead to longer periods of droughts and floods, which directly affects groundwater storage and the vulnerability of freshwater resources.

Climate changes and anthropic activities have impacts on both the quality and quantity of available groundwater, primarily affecting recharge, evapotranspiration and reservoir safe yield and thus the sustainability of freshwater resources.

Nowadays, predicting how climate change could qualitatively and quantitatively impact groundwater systems is difficult not only because of uncertainties in the predictions of future climate but also due to the complex combinations of processes that affect groundwater recharge, discharge and quality.

Therefore, a better understanding of how climate change could affect groundwater systems will require long-term monitoring of the interaction between climate and groundwater recharge, storage and discharge, as well as the development and testing of models that more completely represent both the long- and shortterm connections between climate and groundwater, both in terms of water balances and water quality.

In this context, traditional water resources planning models must be abandoned and new paradigms must be adopted for improving integrated water resources management: Reused water for irrigation and groundwater recharge, to prevent aquifer’s depletion and seawater intrusion.

Recycled water is a largely untapped water source that could be used to protect the critically overdrawn aquifers. Managed Artificial Recharge is a promising adaptation measure to increase groundwater resilience to climate change. It can be utilized to recharge aquifers subject to declining yields for future use or drought mitigation, to control saltwater intrusion or to prevent land subsidence.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Cherubini
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • groundwater and circular economy: closing the loop on the water cycle 
  • managed aquifer recharge for groundwater resilience
  • monitoring and modelling of infiltration –recharge dynamics
  • monitoring and modelling of groundwater vulnerability to pollution
  • monitoring and modelling of groundwater/surface water interactions
  • effects of sea level rise and subsidence on seawater intrusion 

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Evaluation of Well Improvement and Water Quality Change before and after Air Surging in Bedrock Aquifers
Water 2022, 14(14), 2233; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14142233 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 375
Abstract
When a drought occurs, drought response is mainly focused on the development of new wells. However, it is inefficient to respond to droughts by developing additional new wells in areas where many existing groundwater wells have been developed. Rather, it is necessary to [...] Read more.
When a drought occurs, drought response is mainly focused on the development of new wells. However, it is inefficient to respond to droughts by developing additional new wells in areas where many existing groundwater wells have been developed. Rather, it is necessary to find a way to use the existing wells efficiently and, if possible, increase the amount of groundwater that can be pumped. In this study, a pumping test and analysis method were used to evaluate the effect of air surging on improving existing wells. Drawdowns were reduced in the test wells, and, accordingly, the average specific discharges and transmissivities were increased. Since many factors in bedrock aquifers must be considered in order to calculate the well efficiency for the evaluation of the well performance, it seems better to compare the pumping rate and drawdown based on a reference time calculated by an adjusted time. Such factors could be the uncertainty of the aquifer model, aquifer inhomogeneity, and a hydrogeologic boundary. Additionally, in this process, the changes in groundwater quality were investigated, as well as the substances that caused the degradation of the well performance in bedrock aquifers. According to the results of the groundwater quality analysis conducted during the surging process and the step drawdown tests, there was no significant groundwater quality change before and after surging, but it appeared that there was an inflow of contaminants from the upper shallow strata close to the surface. According to the results of the XRD, XRF, and SEM-EDS analyses for the substances collected during surging and the substances deposited inside the well pipe, most of the substances were Fe-related amorphous components. Additionally, Fe coexisted with components such as As, V, and Zn, which formed the well casing together with Fe and were eluted in the surging process and step drawdown tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors)
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Article
Assessment of Concentration Levels of Contaminants in Groundwater of the Soutpansberg Region, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Water 2022, 14(9), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091354 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Groundwater contributions towards improved food security and human health depend on the level of contaminants in groundwater resources. Many people in rural areas use groundwater for drinking purposes without treatment and knowledge of contaminant levels in such waters, owing to parachute research in [...] Read more.
Groundwater contributions towards improved food security and human health depend on the level of contaminants in groundwater resources. Many people in rural areas use groundwater for drinking purposes without treatment and knowledge of contaminant levels in such waters, owing to parachute research in which research outputs are not shared with communities. This study argues that parachute research exposes groundwater users to health hazards and threatens the food security of communities. Concentration levels of contaminants were measured to ascertain suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes. A total of 124 groundwater quality samples from 12 boreholes and 2 springs with physiochemical data from 1995 to 2017 were assessed. This study found high concentration levels of contaminants, such as F, NO3, Cl, and total dissolved solids, in certain parts of the studied area. In general, groundwater was deemed suitable for drinking purposes in most parts of the studied area. Combined calculated values of sodium adsorption ratios, Na%, magnesium hazards, the permeability index, residual sodium carbonate, and total dissolved solids determined that groundwater was suitable for irrigation purposes. The discussion in this paper shows that scientific knowledge generated on groundwater quality is not aimed at developing skills and outputs for improved human health and food security but rather for scientific publication and record keeping, leaving communities where such data has been gathered devoid of knowledge about groundwater quality. In this study, it is recommended that research outputs on groundwater quality should be shared with groundwater users through various initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors)
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Article
Aosta Valley Mountain Springs: A Preliminary Analysis for Understanding Variations in Water Resource Availability under Climate Change
Water 2022, 14(7), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071004 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 535
Abstract
The availability of freshwater resources in mountain areas has been affected by climate change impacts on groundwater storage mechanisms. As a web of complex interactions characterizes climate systems, understanding how water storage conditions have changed in response to climate-driven factors in different Italian [...] Read more.
The availability of freshwater resources in mountain areas has been affected by climate change impacts on groundwater storage mechanisms. As a web of complex interactions characterizes climate systems, understanding how water storage conditions have changed in response to climate-driven factors in different Italian contexts is becoming increasingly crucial. In order to comprehend the relationship between changes in weather conditions and water availability in the Aosta Valley region and how their trends have changed over the last decade, a 7-year discharge series of different Aosta Valley springs (Promise, Alpe Perrot, Promiod, Cheserod) and precipitation data are analysed. Precipitation and flow rate trends using the Mann–Kendall and Sen’s slope trend detection tests were also performed. Not all of the Aosta Valley mountain springs detected seem to respond to the climate variation with a decrease in their stored water resources. Unlike Promiod, Alpe Perrot, Cheserod, and Promise springs have experienced an increase in water discharged amount during the detected 7-year period. This behavior occurs despite the available precipitation data for the associated Sant Vincent, Aymaville-Viayes, La Thuile-Villaret, Champdepraz meteorological stations revealing an overall decreasing trend in annual rainfall (mm), with a slight increase in intensity (mm/day) as a result of the reduction in rainfall events (number of rainy days). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors)
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Article
Impacts of Desalinated and Recycled Water in the Abu Dhabi Surficial Aquifer
Water 2021, 13(20), 2853; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202853 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 690
Abstract
In Abu Dhabi, one of the most arid regions in the world, in recent decades, desalinated water has been identified as a prime solution in solving the water demand issues. In this study, a three-dimensional coupled density-dependent flow and solute transport model was [...] Read more.
In Abu Dhabi, one of the most arid regions in the world, in recent decades, desalinated water has been identified as a prime solution in solving the water demand issues. In this study, a three-dimensional coupled density-dependent flow and solute transport model was set up in order to study the effect of the artificial recharge using desalinated water and the influence of nonconventional water with a salt concentration in the range 0.1–2 g/L The results confirm that this region demands the adoption of a more rational use of irrigation water or additional usage of desalinated water and recycled water together with optimizing groundwater pumping at locations that are vulnerable to further quality degradation and depletion. The long-term storage of desalinated freshwater with a maximum radial distance of 653 m in the dune surface is ensured with the formation of the transition zone, and change in the groundwater head up to 5 km. The maximum recovery obtained by immediate recovery is 70%. The study expresses the long-term feasibility of desalinated freshwater storage and the need for further management practices in quantifying the contribution of desalinated and recycled water for agriculture activities which might have improved groundwater quality and increased hydraulic head at some locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors)
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Article
Groundwater Quality Issues and Challenges for Drinking and Irrigation Uses in Central Ganga Basin Dominated with Rice-Wheat Cropping System
Water 2021, 13(17), 2344; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172344 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1274
Abstract
Increased population and increasing demands for food in the Indo-Gangetic plain are likely to exert pressure on fresh water due to rise in demand for drinking and irrigation water. The study focuses on Bhojpur district, Bihar located in the central Ganga basin, to [...] Read more.
Increased population and increasing demands for food in the Indo-Gangetic plain are likely to exert pressure on fresh water due to rise in demand for drinking and irrigation water. The study focuses on Bhojpur district, Bihar located in the central Ganga basin, to assess the groundwater quality for drinking and irrigation purpose and discuss the issues and challenges. Groundwater is mostly utilized in the study area for drinking and irrigation purposes (major crops sown in the area are rice and wheat). There were around 45 groundwater samples collected across the study region in the pre-monsoon season (year 2019). The chemical analytical results show that Ca2+, Mg2+ and HCO3 ions are present in abundance in groundwater and governing the groundwater chemistry. Further analysis shows that 66%, 69% and 84% of the samples exceeded the acceptable limit of arsenic (As), Fe and Mn respectively and other trace metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) are within the permissible limit of drinking water as prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standard for drinking water. Generally, high As concentration has been found in the aquifer (depth ranges from 20 to 40 m below ground surface) located in proximity of river Ganga. For assessing the irrigation water quality, sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) values, residual sodium carbonate (RSC), Na%, permeability index (PI) and calcium alteration index (CAI) were calculated and found that almost all the samples are found to be in good to excellent category for irrigation purposes. The groundwater facie has been classified into Ca-Mg-HCO3 type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Endeavors)
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