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Utrecht University (2020)

Preventing hydrological drought in the Pleistocene uplands : A modeling experiment with nature and managed aquifer recharge

Daldegan Balduino, C.

Titre : Preventing hydrological drought in the Pleistocene uplands : A modeling experiment with nature and managed aquifer recharge

Auteur : Daldegan Balduino, C.

Université de soutenance : Utrecht University

Grade : Master’s Thesis – Water Science and Management 2020

Résumé partiel
The summer of 2018 has been noted as one of the driest in the current history of the Netherlands. Its effects were widespread, impacting several sectors and water management infrastructure. Despite the above average rainfall in most of the country during the autumn of 2019, areas in the Pleistocene uplands (the sandy elevated regions in the Netherlands) did not reach the required amounts to supply sufficient groundwater recharge in the region and compensate for the 2018 hydrological drought. The scopes of this thesis were to study the effects of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) for hydrological drought prevention in the context of the Pleistocene uplands and determine how much effect it has in alleviating drought stress of agricultural and natural areas. The research question guiding the thesis was What are the regional effects of locally applied managed aquifer recharge as a measure to prevent hydrological drought and its impacts on natural and agricultural ecosystems in the Pleistocene uplands of the Netherlands ? After the general characteristics of the Pleistocene uplands were sketched, a theoretical conceptual model was made based on the Achterhoek region of the Netherlands, an area which represents these characteristics well. Next, a combined groundwater (MODFLOW) and a soil-vegetation-atmosphere (MetaSWAP) model was built in iMOD version 5.0. The hypothetical model spanned a region of 15 km long and 15 km wide, where a steady-state model was run and three transient scenarios were applied in a modeling experiment. The 13 scenarios represented different strategies in dealing with hydrological droughts, where the first was a baseline (do nothing) scenario. Two batches of six scenarios applied MAR through the use of injection wells. For one batch (AG MAR) the wells were located at the higher elevation area of the model, and for the second (N MAR) the wells were located at the lower elevation area, about 2 km from the river. Each batch consisted of treatments with different recharge amounts per well (500 m3/d, 5000 m3/d and 10000 m3/d) and each treatment consisted of MAR application in either the summer or winter. Calibration of the model was done based on its steady state simulation, while the validation was done by comparing the normalized groundwater level time series of the baseline scenario and actual groundwater data in the region taken from the DINOloket database.

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