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Isotopen in de hydrologie – free download

Special number 1 of the Netherlands Hydrological Association, on Isotopes in Hydrology (in Dutch: 'Isotopen in de hydrologie') has been made avaialble as a free PDF file. It is a result of a NHV conference on the same topic. The publication was edited by Michael van der Valk, and the start of a series of NHV specials on different topics in hydrology.

US stream flows reduced by groundwater pumping

Groundwater pumping has caused marked aquifer storage declines over the past century. In addition to threatening the viability of groundwater-dependent economic activities, storage losses reshape the hydrologic landscape, shifting groundwater surface water exchanges and surface water availability. A more comprehensive understanding of modern groundwater-depleted systems is needed as we strive for improved simulations and more efficient water resources management. Here, the authors of a new paper in Science begin to address this gap by evaluating the impact of 100 years of groundwater declines across the continental United States on simulated watershed behavior. Subsurface storage losses reverberate throughout hydrologic systems, decreasing streamflow and evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration declines are focused in water-limited periods and shallow groundwater regions. Streamflow losses are widespread and intensify along drainage networks, often occurring far from the point of groundwater abstraction. Their integrated approach illustrates the sensitivity of land surface simulations to groundwater storage levels and a path toward evaluating these connections in large-scale models. 

Producing more interpretable recharge suitability maps

During the 10th International Conference on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR10), in Madrid, Spain, Galen Gorski, University of California, Santa Cruz, presented our (mainly his) work on the optimization of the suitability mapping process involved in selecting and allocating areas and locations that are potentially suitable for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) projects, also known as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR). Galen has developed an app, written in R using the Shiny web app development platform, that aims to visualize the sensitivity of the suitability to subjective choices during mapmaking. The presentation is available. This is part of our work on Management of Aquifer Recharge / Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Middle East countries, together with their governments and major universities.

GRACE storage change characteristics (2003–2016) over major surface basins and principal aquifers in the Conterminous United States

In a new paper, USGS colleagues characterized the changes in the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) monthly total water storage anomaly (TWSA) in 18 surface basins and 12 principal aquifers in the conterminous United States during 2003–2016. Regions with high variability in storage were identified. Ten basins and four aquifers showed significant changes in storage. Eight surface basins and eight aquifers were found to show decadal stability in storage. This study found that historically wetter regions (with more storage) are becoming wetter, and drier regions (with less storage) are becoming drier. Fourier analysis of the GRACE data showed that while all basins exhibited prominent annual periodicities, significant sub-annual and multi-annual cycles also exist in some basins. The storage turnover period was estimated to range between 6 and 12 months. This study provides new insights on several aspects of basin or aquifer storage that are important for understanding basin and aquifer hydrology. A new paper by our good friends Naga Manohar Velpuri, Gabriel B. Senay and others, in Remote Sensing.

Analysis and Remediation of the Salinized, Damour Coastal (Dolomitic) Limestone Aquifer in Lebanon • PhD thesis

Coastal aquifer management has recently emerged as a main scope in groundwater hydrology, especially in arid and semi-arid zones. About two thirds of the human population are currently gathered close to shorelines relying on coastal groundwater resources. Worldwide, these systems are subject to quality deterioration due to a multitude of anthropogenic impacts and subsequent saltwater intrusion (SWI). Many hydrological and hydrochemical features of SWI have been disclosed during the past century through numerous case studies, column studies, scale models, flow and reactive transport modeling. Yet, many scientific and engineering challenges remain, some of which need to be addressed for a better prospecting of future coastal freshwater reserves. The PhD thesis of Wisam Khadra describes and in-depth study.

Towards a Method of Participatory Planning in an Emerging Metropolitan Delta in the Context of Climate Change – new PhD thesis

Urbanizing deltas are subjected to pressures related to urban growth and climate change, within a context of uncertainty and unpredictability. Those pressures interact at multiple scales and temporalities, affecting the components of the systems, as well as the relations between them and with the environment. This complexity reveals the need for the society (including governments, institutions, civil organizations, academia, etc.) to enhance the adaptability of the system of the delta, in order to cope with changes without losing their substantial characteristics. The PhD thesis of Verónica Zagare is focused on the study of the complexity of self-organizing processes that emerge in metropolitan areas located in (or near) delta territories, in order to link climate adaptation with urban development from an actor-oriented perspective.

Angela Renata Cordeiro Ortigara: make better use of water data

With less and less people on the ground, and less and less ground truth and real data on water – be it quality, levels or discharges – more and more policy and statements are being made that are unsupported by reality. Researchers and UN organizations such as WMO keep stressing the need for better (use of) data by decision-makers in order to prevent that ‘measures’ that have lost a connection with reality. Data, implementation of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation for all), and linking with everyday needs of the communities are key issues, according to Dr Angela Renata Cordeiro Ortigara.

Groundwater around the world – free download

The book »Groundwater around the world« presents a unique and up-to-date summary of what is known about groundwater on our planet, from a global perspective and in terms of area-specific factual information. Unlike most textbooks on groundwater, it does not deal with theoretical principles, but rather with the overall picture that emerges as a result of countless observations, studies and other activities related to groundwater in all parts of the world. The focus is on showing the role and geographical diversity of groundwater—a natural resource of great importance in daily life, but poorly understood by the general public and even by many water sector professionals. As a result of a cooperation between author Jac van der Gun and Michael van der Valk | Hydrology.nl the book is now available as a free PDF file!

Water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine under transformation

Water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is under transformation from Soviet to EU environmental standards. This shift requires significant changes in the terminology, structure and content of water laws. At present, the main shortcomings of the water legislation of the three countries and its practical implementation are: (1) fragmentation of water legislation, which translates into poorly defined responsibilities; (2) significant discrepancies between different laws on property rights and the responsibilities of natural resource users; and (3) outdated water quality standards. A new paper by Yuliya Vystavna, Maryna Cherkashyna and Michael van der Valk describes the changes needed to transform the water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine from Soviet to EU environmental standards. 

Bridging the floods − The role of social learning for resilience building in urban water services

The development of cities is increasingly threatened by a worldwide water crisis. Urban water services (including drinking water, sanitation and drainage) are facing complex and multiple pressures, which are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. These pressures include floods, and the depletion, pollution and degradation of water resources and their associated ecosystems. These diverse pressures fall mainly within the domains of flood risk and water resources management: two working fields that are divided by different institutional structures, approaches and practices. Social learning is becoming increasingly popular as an approach that has the potential to “bridge” these silos, and ultimately, contribute to building resilience in urban water services. However, empirical analyses on this issue are rare and fragmented. In her PhD thesis, Åse Johannessen fills this gap. Her results identify challenges to the integration of the identified silos, what resilience means for urban water services, and the key elements of social learning that can support or inhibit urban water resilience.

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