The presentation covered topics accompanied by a motivation of organizing the event
The alert rhythm of urbanization threatens the availability and quality of groundwater resources, with significant implications for the economical, social and environmental aspects. Urban media are characterized by a large number of underground structures, many of which are located below the groundwater level.
These structures produce significant changes in groundwater dynamic, including the decrease of horizontal flow and of the storage capacity. Exfiltrations from the water supply networks and from the sewerage system help groundwater level to increase, causing local floods and leading to degradation of foundations and underground structures. Infiltrations in sewerage are detrimental to the effective function of wastewater treatment plants.
A key problem in urban hydrogeology is the quantification of the contribution of different sources of recharge (water from water supply system or sewerage network, direct infiltration, etc.). Identifying supply sources is important for assessing the risks generated of water pollution and for groundwater management.
Urbanization significantly affects the natural water cycle both in terms of quantity and quality. The main factors of supply and drain of groundwater differ from those of natural systems. Water can affect the underground structures from urban environment, such as basements, public transport services (train, subway) and the infrastructure for water supply and energy. In this context urban hydrogeology can be considered a distinct branch of hydrogeology.Regardless of the studied hydrogeological problem, modeling (the model) represents an indispensable instrument.
Currently, one cannot speak about groundwater resources management without being based on a correct conceptual model that allows the set up of groundwater flow and transport model. These models allow the conceptualization and quantification of hydrogeological processes as well as simulating different scenarios: droughts, resource management, quality evolution, pollutants behavior in the environment, interaction with underground structures etc.
Methods and instruments used must allow three-dimensional representation of geologic heterogeneity and its spatial distribution as well as the interaction between groundwater and underground infrastructure (water supply networks and sewerage, drainage systems, subway network, underground parking, and so on). The workshop will focus on important aspects of these methodologies and tools necessary in 3D hydrogeological modeling.
Some specific topics of urban hydrogeology include:
- Groundwater level fluctuations caused by changes in land use and water
- Problems caused by pollution from punctual and non-punctual sources in urban areas
- The characterization and quantification of elements included in the urban hydrogeological cycle
- Specific characteristics in groundwater flow modeling and transport of pollutant in urban environments
- Data integration for a sustainable management of groundwater in urban environments
These are the main topics proposed for debating within the workshop. An updated presentation of a large number of case studies will provide a basis for the development of reliable research strategies in urban hydrogeology.
Also, the workshop is an important step for the integration of groundwater as one of the topics considered in urban planning projects.
- Faculty of Hydro-technics - Hydrogeology Group - UPC
- Polytechnic University of Cataluna (Spain)
- Scientific Research Superior Council - Head Researcher (Spain)