RESERVOIR project is dealing with: the understanding of the hydrogeological properties, their spatial heterogeneous distribution and their changes in the time in the targeted areas through Earth Observation technique; the implementing numerical groundwater flow and geomechanical models to forecast the future response of aquifer systems to stresses, including those related to climate changes; the knowledge and understanding of the current groundwater users (tourism vs. agriculture).
The aim of RESERVOIR is to provide new products and services for a fruitful and sustainable management of the groundwater to be developed and tested in four water-stressed Mediterranean areas (in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Jordan) and then applicable in other regions.
The specific project objectives are the following: 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 numerical groundwater flow and geomechanical models to improve the knowledge about the current capacity of aquifer to store water and the future response of aquifer systems to natural and human-induced stresses. 3. Enhance the knowledge about the impacts of agricultural and tourism activities on the water resources by quantifying the ground deformation during the monitored periods. 4. Engage water management authorities and provide models for an optimal management of the aquifer systems. The developed innovative methodology for the hydrogeological characterisation (models) will be tested in selected aquifers located in the Mediterranean areas. Tested aquifers will be selected based on: a) vulnerability to drought, b) occurance and/or frequency of occurance of important dry periods, c) intensive exploitation for agriculture and/or touristic purposes and d) availability of hydrogeological (i.e. piezometric measurements, etc.) and geological data. In some pilot areas, agriculture is traditionally the most important economic activity, but 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 are new capabilities (i.e. optimized and advanced numerical models) in an operational groundwater management environment, tested and validated in four pilot sites to develop procedures, workflows, communication strategies, etc. and demonstrate their potentiality and the possibility to be implemented in other areas. Hence, these activities will allow to move from TRL3 to TRL 5 (technology validated in relevant environment). Namely, the specific expected outcomes are: 1. Innovative approach for the aquifer characterisation and monitoring using low-cost and non-invasive EO data; 2. New methodologies and tools for groundwater flow and geomechanical models; 3. Mapping of land subsidence and related hazards such as seawater intrusion area in coastal aquifers, land loss, flooding and groundwater abstraction effects that can provide different management strategies for policy maker and land reclamation authorities; 4. Best practises to support the decision makers.
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