Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 7.07: Transdisciplinary and participatory approaches in groundwater research and management
Burke Sean
Developing a programme of measures to reduce groundwater pollution a collaborative approach
Agriculture can have a profound impact on groundwater quality with often nitrate the main pollutant of concern. Within the Eden Catchment in Northwest England intensive agricultural practices have resulted in a rising groundwater nitrate trend in its principal aquifer. With nitrate concentrations varying from less than 4 mg l to in excess of 100 mg l (as NO3). The variability is presumed to be due to land use and the main source of the nitrate is believed to be the nitrogen applied to grassland, both as slurry and as inorganic fertilizers. Recent modelling has indicated that the nitrate remaining in the groundwater will affect the long-term quality of surface water and hence the ecological quality in the study area. **However, where rapid recharge to shallow groundwater takes place, travel times through these systems can be relatively short and impact on both baseflow and water quality of rivers can be instant but short lived if recharge reduces. Within the Eden catchment secondary aquifers such as the Carboniferous Limestone where fracture flow is dominant recharge in bedrock near the surface is often rapid during high rainfall events. **Therefore understanding better understanding nutrient fluxes helps develop time frames to assist in assessing the success in programmes of measures at the catchment scale. Additionally targeting of specific measures for differing systems will help reduce pollution both in the short and long term. Improving farmyard infrastructure can help improve shallow groundwater quality over a short time scale but to help reduce nitrate loss at the catchment scale broader mitigation options are often required such as nutrient management advice.**This paper will present an approach to enable a programme of measures to help reduce nitrate pollution at both the local and catchment scale within the Eden Catchment. It required a greater understanding of how the catchment functions both physically and socially and through a collaborative approach has now developed a better understanding of what measures are required and where.**
United Kingdom