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Communication dans un congrès

Modeling the impact of the nitrate contamination on groundwater at the groundwater body scale : The Geer basin case study

Abstract : In the next decades, groundwater managers will have to face regional degradation of the quantity and quality of groundwater under pressure of land-use and socio-economic changes. In this context, the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive require that groundwater be managed at the scale of the groundwater body, taking into account not only all components of the water cycle but also the socio-economic impact of these changes. One of the main challenges remains to develop robust and efficient numerical modeling applications at such a scale and to couple them with economic models, as a support for decision support in groundwater management. An integrated approach between hydrogeologists and economists has been developed by coupling the hydrogeological model SUFT3D and a cost-benefit economic analysis to study the impact of agricultural practices on groundwater quality and to design cost-effective mitigation measures to decrease nitrate pressure on groundwater so as to ensure the highest benefit to the society. A new modeling technique, the 'Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell' approach has been developed for large scale modeling purposes. The principle of this method is to fully couple different mathematical and numerical approaches to solve groundwater flow and solute transport problems. The mathematical and numerical approaches proposed allows an adaptation to the level of local hydrogeological knowledge and the amount of available data. In combination with long time series of nitrate concentrations and tritium data, the regional scale modelling approach has been used to develop a 3D spatially distributed groundwater flow and solute transport model for the Geer basin (Belgium) of about 480 km2. The model is able to reproduce the spatial patterns of nitrate concentrations together nitrate trends with time. The model has then been used to predict the future evolution of nitrate trends for two types of scenarios: (i) a "business as usual scenario" where current polluting pressures remain the same and (ii) two contrasted scenarios that simulate the implementation of programs of measures aiming at reaching good chemical status. The results of the hydrogeological model under the "business as usual scenario" have been used to assess the cost for the society of the continuous degradation of the groundwater quality. The results of the hydrogeological model under the two contrasted scenarios have been used to assess the economical benefit as avoided damage resulting from the decrease in the nitrate load. A cost-benefit analysis has been thus performed to assess the programme of mitigation measures which provides the largest benefits at the lowest cost.
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Communication dans un congrès
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Contributeur : Cécile Herivaux <>
Soumis le : jeudi 12 janvier 2012 - 17:04:57
Dernière modification le : jeudi 16 avril 2020 - 17:04:04


  • HAL Id : hal-00659422, version 1



Serge Brouyere, Philippe Orban, Cécile Hérivaux. Modeling the impact of the nitrate contamination on groundwater at the groundwater body scale : The Geer basin case study. AGU Fall Meeting 2009, Dec 2009, San Francisco, United States. ⟨hal-00659422⟩



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