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Sustainable groundwater resources management by integrating Earth Observation derived monitoring and flow modeling results

IWRA 2020 Online Conference - Addressing Groundwater Resilience under Climate Change
THEME 3. Contribution of Technology to Groundwater Resilience
Author(s): Meisina C., Zucca F., Bonì R., Bordoni M., Teatini P., Ferronato M., Zoccarato C., Guardiola Albert C., Herrera García G., Béjar-Pizarro M., Ezquerro P., Tomás R., Valdes-Abellan J., López Sánchez J. M., Cano M., Riquelme A., Pastor J.L., Pla C., El

Meisina C.(1), Zucca F.(1), Bonì R.(1), Bordoni M.(1), Teatini P.(2), Ferronato M.(2), Zoccarato C.(2), Guardiola Albert C.(3), Herrera García
G.(3), Béjar-Pizarro M.(3), Ezquerro P.(3), Tomás R.(4), Valdes-Abellan J.(4), López Sánchez J. M.(5), Cano M.(4), Riquelme A.(4), Pastor
J.L.(4), Pla C.(4), Elçi A.(6), Ören H.(6), Shatanawi K.(7), Mohammad A.H.(7), Letterio T.(8), Genovesi R.(8), Anconelli S.(8), Khreisha H.(9), Smadi M.(9)

1. University of Pavia – Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, claudia.meisina@unipv.it,
2. Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova,
3. Instituto Geológico y Minero de España,
4. Civil Engineering Department - University of Alicante,
5. Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal - University of Alicante,
6. Dept. of Environmental Engineering- Dokuz Eylul University,
7. Dept. of Civil Engineering - School of Engineering, The University of Jordan,
8. Consorzio di Bonifica di Secondo Grado per il Canale Emiliano Romagnolo,
9. AzraqWetland Reserve, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

Keyword(s): Groundwater management tools, Aquifer Storage, Remote sensing, Modelling, Land subsidence


In Mediterranean areas, groundwater resources are taking a prominent role in providing freshwater supplies in the framework of global climatic changes. Hence, the compound challenges that water planners have to face will require a new approach and more efficient aquifer management plans to address the broad impacts on aquifer storage and aquifer water quality.

The RESERVOIR project, which is funded by the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA-H2020) and started in March 2020, is aimed at providing a new approach for the sustainable management of groundwater. This work presents the specific project objectives:

  1. Develop an innovative methodology for the hydrogeological characterisation of large-scale aquifer systems using low-cost and non-intrusive data such as satellite-based Earth Observation (EO) techniques.
  2. Integrate advanced EO techniques into groundwater flow and geomechanical numerical models to improve the knowledge about the current capacity of aquifers systems to store water and their future response to natural and human-induced stresses.
  3. Enhance the knowledge about the impacts of agriculture and tourism on groundwater resources by quantifying ground deformation.
  4. Engage water management authorities and provide strategies for optimal management of the aquifer systems.

The innovative approach will be tested in four water’stressed Mediterranean areas. The Coastal Aquifer of Comacchio (Italy), the Alto Guadalentín Aquifer (Spain), the Gediz River Basin alluvial aquifer (Turkey), and the Azraq Wetland Reserve (Jordan). These sites have been selected based on a) vulnerability to drought, b) occurrence and/or frequency of occurrence of important dry periods, and c) intensive exploitation for agriculture and/or touristic purposes.

Agriculture is traditionally the most important economic activity in the pilot areas, although it is being progressively replaced by urban and touristic activities, which also have an important impact on groundwater resources.

The main expected outcomes of RESERVOIR project will be advanced numerical models casted in an operational groundwater management framework, tested and validated in the four pilot sites. Various strategies will be developed in cooperation with local water management authorities and best practices will be delineated to support decision makers. The developed approach will be applicable in other regions of the Mediterranean basin suffering for water scarcity.

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