Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS


WADE Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 506680
Gefördert unter: FP6-SUSTDEV
Land: Spain

Final Report Summary - WADE (Floodwater recharge of alluvial aquifers in dryland environments)

The overall scope of the WADE project was to apply innovative methods and technologies in order to assess long-term water resources in selected semiarid to hyperarid ephemeral river basins via the determination of long-term magnitude and frequency of floods and the quantification of transmission losses and floodwater recharge into alluvial aquifers. The scale of the examined phenomena ranged between decades and centuries.

Therefore, a methodology for the investigation of flood occurrence was developed and implemented in order to quantify the sustainable water yield of ephemeral streams and formulate integrated water management strategies for their use. This aim was achieved via the accomplishment of the following goals:

1. extension of the available records of the magnitude and chronology of large floods to improve understanding of floods' magnitude and frequency and provide indications on the dependence of floods on the climatic variability
2. quantification of floodwater infiltration, transmission losses and percolation
3. establishment of isotope based indicators to identify active recharge sections and, thus, potential development areas
4. conceptualisation and quantification of a model for groundwater recharge from flood waters along long reaches of ephemeral streams in dryland environments
5. increase of local and national awareness and understanding of the water resource potential of alluvial aquifers in dryland areas
6. enhancement of the cooperation and collaboration among scientists, engineers, risk analysts, policy makers, government and management agencies, local communities and the inhabitants along a river to support both water management and restoration of the ecologic system.

The project was organised in eight distinct, yet interrelated, work packages (WPs) which focussed on different activities and included the efficient and effective management of the project. In addition, among the performed tasks was the characterisation of selected sites that integrated information from geomorphic, flood and palaeoflood hydrology, information on soil and sediment and knowledge on local groundwater and its use as a water resource. Moreover, long-term flood magnitude and frequency were reconstructed and surface and subsurface water behaviour during flood events was monitored. Technologically advanced monitoring equipment was installed for that purpose. Transmission losses were modelled using several independent approaches. Furthermore, the socioeconomic and historical perspectives of participatory water management were analysed and strategies to include floodwater as a water resource were formulated. Finally, optimal dissemination pathways were identified to ensure that the project data, deliverables and resource management tools were distributed to their maximum potential to end users and the scientific community.

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