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Suitability mapping as an effective tool for identifying potential locations for Managed Aquifer Recharge A case study: Dunajec catchment, Poland

IWRA 2021 Online Conference One Water, One Health
Theme 1: How can we better manage water for food and public health in a changing world?
Author(s): Sławomir Sitek, Krzysztof Janik, Agnieszka Piechota, Jakub Mukawa

Sławomir Sitek1, Krzysztof Janik1, Agnieszka Piechota1, Jakub Mukawa2

1. University of Silesia in Katowice, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice,
2. Tarnow Waterworks Ltd., Narutowicza 37, 33-100 Tarnów

Keyword(s): Managed Aquifer Recharge, suitability maps, groundwater resources, Poland


Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water in Poland, however that resources are negatively affected by climate changes due to the deviations in rainfall intensity and frequency. Extended periods of drought and  short intense participation events together with rising air temperatures will lead to increased pressure on groundwater resources in the coming decades in Poland and other European countries. This prompts a search for solutions where water from periods of abundance could be stored in aquifers for dry periods. For this purpose, as part of the DEEPWATER-CE project, the project partners have taken a close look at six Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) techniques that have the greatest potential for development in Central Europe and developed a toolbox to select the most potentially suitable locations for: infiltration ditches, induced river and lake bank filtration (IRLBF), aquifer storage and recovery, infiltration ponds, underground dam and recharge dam.

The methodology developed is based, among other things, on the analysis of selected geological and hydrogeological parameters, which can be depicted on maps. Suitability maps can be created in two levels of detail: general and specific. Here we would like to focus on general mapping procedures which was tested for the Dunajec River catchment area (4,854 km2) in southern Poland. The following criteria were taken into consideration during the general screening: distance from surface water source, lithology of the surface formations, slope angle, depth of the top of the aquifer, lithology of the aquifer and depth of the groundwater table. From the
considered 6 MAR types in the analysed catchment area of the Dunajec River, three methods seemed to be the most promising: induced river and lake bank filtration, infiltration ditches and underground dam. Of these three methods, the underground dam has the highest percentage of the areas considered suitable in regard to the total area of Dunajec catchment - 15.6%, the ditches 13% and the IRLBF method 12.6%. The authors have identified 3 potential areas where the implementation of this type of MAR enabling additional supply of the aquifer could be the most beneficial. These were the areas near three Lesser Poland cities: Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and Nowy Targ. The application of any of the three proposed MAR solutions in these areas could contribute to increasing drinking water resources under stress as a consequence of the negative effects of climate change.

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