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Simulation modelling for groundwater safety in an overexploitation situation: the Maggiore Valley context (Piedmont, Italy)

  • Manuela LasagnaEmail author
  • Caterina Caviglia
  • Domenico Antonio De Luca
Original Paper

Abstract

The Maggiore Valley well field plays a fundamental role in supplying drinking water to a large territory of the Piedmont (north-western Italy). However, an increasing demand for water has led to the overexploitation of the groundwater resources. This situation has caused a progressive drawdown of the piezometric level (locally, up to 0.8 m/year), a spatial reduction in the artesian zone, localised land subsidence and damage to wells. The main purpose of this study was the development of a groundwater flow model of the area for analysing the aquifer response to various pumping strategies. Initially, the groundwater flow simulation (achieved by the application of the MODFLOW code) was calibrated satisfactorily. Then, the groundwater response to four scenarios was simulated to explore the best option to mitigate the problem. In three of the scenarios, a withdrawal reduction of 110 l/s was simulated, whilst considering various relocation options for extraction within the well field. The fourth scenario simulated a withdrawal reduction of 150 l/s; this option also assumed a supplementary water supply from the Monferrato Aqueduct, located north of the study area. All the simulations provided an increase in the piezometric level; in some instances, up to 30 m. Based on these simulations, the most promising management strategy for the Maggiore Valley well field would seem to be the option using a supplementary feed from the Monferrato Aqueduct. In this instance, the predicted piezometric level rise would be up to 25 m; this option also precludes the need for drilling additional wells.

Keywords

Groundwater overexploitation Environmental impact Scenarios Hydrogeologic model MODFLOW Italy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Lasagna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Caterina Caviglia
    • 1
  • Domenico Antonio De Luca
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth Science DepartmentTurin UniversityTurinItaly

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