The eGROUNDWATER project – Citizen science and ICT-based enhanced information systems for groundwater assessment, modelling and sustainable participatory management – started in April 2020, and aims to support the sustainable and participatory management of groundwater in the Mediterranean region, through the design and testing of technological information systems which enable the involvement and participation of citizens.
eGROUNDWATER is coordinated by IIAMA-UPV (Instituto de Ingeniería del Agua y Medio Ambiente da Universitat Politècnica de València), and counts with the participation of research centres in Algeria, Spain, Franca, Morocco, and Portugal.
In Portugal, ISEG is responsible for assessing the institutional transitions which are necessary to change sustainable management practices. The team is led by Marta Varanda (SOCIUS), in partnership with Sofia Bento (SOCIUS), both of whom are researchers from the CSG consortium.
Groundwater is subject to pressure, such as over exploitation and pollution. A critical issue for groundwater management is the availability of data. The eGROUNDWATER platform will be a technological novelty, as it brings together diverse data. Information sources include the observation of the Earth (drones, remote sensing), sensors, ICT tools (e.g., mobile apps), and the involvement of citizens and stakeholders in collecting information. A greater availability of data will help improve the control of water abstraction and the over-exploitation of groundwater, which will help support not only the sustainable management of groundwater, but also agriculture.
The research is centred on four case studies: the Requena-Utiel aquifer (Spain), the Timimoun oasis (Algeria), the Aim TImguenay aquifer (Morocco), and the Campina de Faro aquifer (Portugal).
The ISEG research team (CSG consortium) is already studying the Campina de Faro aquifer, which is beset by several problems, such as the contamination of the Ria Formosa lagoon with agricultural nitrates and the progressive decrease in groundwater levels due to the development of tourism. ISEG is also due to head up the development of pathways to scale up to the national level those sustainable groundwater management strategies which are being tested in the case studies.
Campina de Faro Aquifer | Photograph: Luís Nunes
This project is being developed by the PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) project, which is financed by the European Union, Horizonte 2020 programme.
Further information is available here.