Présentations Colloques

    Oral Presentation
    7.03
    Session 7.03: Agricultural and sanitation contaminants and implications for water services and health
    Josep Mas-pla
    Groundwater nitrate pollution and water scarcity- anticipating pressures as a means to define adaptive strategies
    Nitrate pollution stands as a common, widespread problem on groundwater quality around the world. European directives, for instance, deal with this issue from a perspective of water resources exploitation and agricultural practices. These are focused to prevent an increase of pollution level through a sustainable water resources management. Even though such kind of hydrological planning has a forward intention, water scarcity in the next decades will stand as a main factor that will determine the aquifer water balance and, consequently, the extent of nitrate pollution.****During the last fifteen years, our research groups have characterized several aquifers in Catalonia (NE Spain) looking for the extent of nitrate pollution and the occurrence of denitrification processes from a hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical perspectives. In this contribution, we analyze the hydrogeological characteristics of the affected aquifers, the level of pollution and the occurrence of denitrification processes, the rate of present groundwater exploitation and its final use, as well as the occurrence of alternative water resources for human uses. Such analysis identifies the main present pressures on groundwater quality. Moreover, it also provides a qualitative insight for pressure evaluation under new scenarios when water scarcity related to global change will be crucial in the western Mediterranean area. ****This approach, which includes present circumstances and future situations, describes the vulnerability of present nitrate polluted aquifers under future hydrological conditions. It also explores potential adaptive actions that could be addressed to prevent nitrate pollution increase and spread, and to warrant water supply to fulfill human and ecological needs.
    Spain

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