Groundwater management in coastal zones
Half the global population lives in or near coastal zones and three quarters of all big cities are located at the coast. Growing population, increasing urbanization trends, growing economies, especially tourism, put an increasing demand on water resources on the coasts and the oceans. Coastal groundwater, however, is endangered by the intrusion of seawater into the aquifer. Heavy water abstraction in coastal-near wells and natural disasters like Tsunamis and storm surges has already caused saltwater intrusion all over the world. Rising sea levels due to climatic changes exacerbate the problem even more. In many countries this has led to huge economic losses, in the tourism but also the agricultural sector.
Technical solutions to rehabilitate fresh water within the aquifer are expensive and still require a long-lasting management approach. Therefore, sustainable management principles embedded in an integrated coastal zone management approach are needed to ensure sustainable groundwater usage in coastal zones. Decision makers and planners need to know how much groundwater is available and where to locate the wells to avoid the intrusion of saltwater.
Thomas Himmelsbach, Federal Institute of Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany,
Coastal zone dynamics and risk factors affecting coastal groundwater
Ramon Brentführer, Federal Institute of Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany,
Governance, strategies and solutions
Michael Eichholz, Federal Institute of Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany,
Question and Answers
Closing and distribution of the handbook