Dutch Delta Works
Aquifer Model Management
The importance of an Aquifer.
The available drinking water resources in aquifers, are globally declining because of overexploitation and pollution.
Irresponsible use of groundwater from aquifers as the largest freshwater reservoirs in dry areas have already without negative influences of climate change very low groundwater recharge at present but often storage non-renewable partly enormous fossil groundwater resources accumulated in former periods of earth history.
For a sustainable use of these aquifer resources, an adapted and forward-looking groundwater management is of vital importance.
A successful groundwater management requires precise information on groundwater quantity and quality, its renewability and the hydrogeological structure of the underground.
Based on this data, utilization concepts are developed that also consider ecological and socio-economic aspects. The feasibility of these concepts is tested in model experiments that allow the analysis of the present conditions of a groundwater system as well as its possible temporal development.
Aquifer monitoring and modeling
Modeling results are the design parameters utilized in the preparation of water management plans which are used by national and multinational decision-makers and organizations like federal ministries and authorities, geological surveys and water management authorities.
a simple back of the envelope calculation shows that the NWSAS (North-Western Sahara Aquifer System) constitutes a resource for exploitative use for many centuries to come. Under the assumption that 10% of the estimated 10,000 km3 water stored in the NWSAS can be extracted in a technically and economically feasible way, reserves will last for more than half a millennium assuming a constant maximum future demand of 500 m3 /s.
On quantitative grounds therefore the reliance of irrigated agriculture on NWSAS groundwater is not threatened. The scale of the NWSAS and its properties suggest that undesirable consequences from mining will never adversely affect its entire productive potential.