Groundwater quality assessment

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The groundwater bodies are active components of the hydrogeological cycle and they have been influenced for decades by human activities. When infiltration occurs on the ground surface the groundwater chemistry varies. This is particular evident in highly urbanized and agricultural areas where widespread contamination occurs.
As a consequence, the chemistry of groundwater bodies in shallow aquifers lying within urbanized and agricultural areas, rarely reflects natural conditions. On the other hand, deep aquifers can be characterized by a reduced anthropic impact.
In order to assess the groundwater quality status, measurement in sampling wells are obviously needed, but on top of that it's also necessary to develop models that describe the groundwater flow and allow to simulute the future development of the quality status.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

Activities regarding the assessment of groundwater quality through measurement and forecasting tools are part of the Water research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030.
They include the quantification of the groundwater geothermal potential according to the geological characteristics of the aquifers and the available technologies.

Objectives and expected results

  • Definition of Natural Background Level (NBL) values of the exploited aquifers and characterization of anthropogenic impacts on groundwater resources.

  • Development of a flow and transport numerical model for a Chromium-contaminated pilot-area.

Description of the activities

  • Definition of the hydrochemical baseline (Natural Background Level, NBL) for physical and chemical parameters.

  • Definition of threshold levels for selected chemical and physical parameters (Threshold Values, TV).

  • Analysis of deterioration scenarios for wells exceeding threshold values.

  • Development of a flow and transport numerical model for a Chromium-contaminated pilot-area and simulation of future scenarios of plume propagation.

Partners involved

Department DISAT-GEO of Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca conducts the research activities using hydro-informatics tools and geostatistics methods to optimize groundwater resource management, while CAP Group provided the necessary data and scientific support.

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