Project info

  • Client IMDC commissioned by VMM
  • Completion date 01 April 2016
  • Research site Flanders
  • Services Hydrogeological studies
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Trend analysis of anthropogenic pressure and impact on confined groundwater bodies

Most confined groundwater bodies currently are in quantitatively bad condition. Groundwater extraction has led to a large decrease in hydraulic head over large areas (regional depressions). As a result, the direction of groundwater flow has slightly changed on a regional scale. The Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) is working out a policy in the river basin management plans to address this problem by restricting the amount of groundwater extracted from confined aquifers.

In this study, a reporting tool is proposed to support the implementation of this new policy, with a method and instrument to systematically monitor the effects of that policy. A method is proposed to detect trends in anthropogenic pressure and impact on confined groundwater bodies and to statistically characterize them.

AGT had to verify the available data, and then carried out a spatial analysis on those data. During the data verification, all the data of groundwater levels and extracted groundwater volumes, available in the databases of VMM, were verified and brought together in one consistent dataset which is used in the statistical processing. A zonation per groundwater body was developed by spatial analysis based on time series of those data. The various zones within a groundwater body are distinguished from each other by a different trend. Finally, causal connections were sought between pressure, impact, and hydrogeological parameters, both within and between zones and groundwater bodies.

Zonation based on time series for the Paleocene Aquifer System (SS_1000) with indication of piezometers and their respective trend.