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Planning for Groundwater Protection: Monitoring Systems & Data Requirements

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Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


Contemporary IC Technologies and the development of advanced sensor systems provide the means to monitor groundwater resources and to provide early warning, in line to the respective EU principles and existing research.

Groundwater monitoring effectiveness depends on the operational characteristics/specs of the groundwater monitoring system (GMS), as these are related to the actual risks groundwater faces over the monitored area. Groundwater aquifer systems are themselves very complex and moreover, they are affected by numerous natural and anthropogenic factors; so, defining the types, the magnitude, the spatial location and/or extend of such threats for any area, in relation to the respective groundwater regime, is a demanding task.

Unfortunately, there’s a limited, indirect access to the subsurface domain where changes to groundwater quantitative and qualitative characteristics take place. Thus, there has to be an integration of information related to numerous parameters affecting groundwater, which can lead to a consistent interpretation of the hydrogeologic regime over the study area and to building a respective conceptual hydrologic model. In this way, groundwater monitoring can be tailored to the specific local conditions, threats and risks and thus, it can become most efficient. There’s of course a level of uncertainty in any conceptual model due to justifiable assumptions and/or generalizations which can be reduced during the GMS calibration phase, where actual measurements are used to calibrate the conceptual model and adapt/tailor it to local hydrogeologic conditions thus optimizing it.

An example of the required parameters necessary for building a conceptual hydrogeologic model for monitoring, managing and protecting groundwater in an area, is presented and discussed. It includes information regarding the groundwater recharge zones and hydrogeologic basins, vulnerability assessment from surface pollution, land use and pressures from non point and point sources of potential contamination. Remote Sensing and geomatics technologies have been used to integrate this information and to visualize the outputs.


  • Groundwater monitoring
  • Groundwater vulnerability
  • Hydrogeologic conceptual models

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-024-1909-2_15
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Correspondence to Konstantinos A. Papatheodorou .

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Papatheodorou, K.A., Evangelidis, K.E. (2020). Planning for Groundwater Protection: Monitoring Systems & Data Requirements. In: Sidorenko, A., Hahn, H. (eds) Functional Nanostructures and Sensors for CBRN Defence and Environmental Safety and Security. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht.

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