Aquifers are the main source of water in most semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean basin. As a result of over-exploitation hydrologic deficits of varying acuity prevail in these areas. Seawater intrusion and pollution have been identified as the primary factors for quality degradation. Further deterioration can be expected based on trends in the precipitation regime attributed to climate change. The objective of this project is to identify alternative sources of water and to investigate the feasibility, both environmental and economic of their utilization. Alternative water sources to be artificially recharged comprise: surface water runoff, treated effluent, and imported water. Furthermore, brackish water bodies, present in many aquifers could be utilised after desalination. The project structured into eight work-packages comprehensively addresses all issues related to the problem: expected precipitation rates, recharge and water budgets, identification of potential alternative water sources and technologies for their utilization, development of tools for the management of groundwater resources under artificial recharge conditions, aquifer vulnerability assessment, characterization of the unsaturated zone, and mixing effects. Four test sites have been selected for practical application of the approach. Substantial field testing, integration of technologies and findings to ensure optimal implementations of aquifer recharge alternatives, quantification of socio-economic impacts and development of dissemination platform are planned. Finally a carefully designed project management shall drive and accompany the project execution in order to ascertain consistency and efficiency.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project