Urban groundwater has often been over-exploited for industrial uses. Now, this usage tends to be reduced or the resource abandoned due to pollution and/or changes in land use. The use and the subsequent disuse of groundwater has resulted in rising water tables that damage underground structures (e.g., building basements and underground car parks and tunnels), leading to the need for additional pumping in urban areas. In the case of the underground parking lot of Sant Adrià del Besòs (Barcelona, NE Spain), large amounts of urban groundwater are pumped to avoid seepage problems. Can this pumped groundwater be used for other purposes (e.g., drinking water and urban irrigation) instead of wasting this valuable resource? To answer this question, it was necessary to quantify the groundwater recharge and to assess the evolution of groundwater quality. The limiting factor at this study site is the groundwater quality because ammonium and some metals (iron and manganese) are present at high concentrations. Hence, further treatment would be needed to meet drinking water requirements. The pumped groundwater could also be used for supplementing river flow for ecological benefit and/or for mitigating seawater intrusion problems. Currently, only a small amount of this urban groundwater is used for cleaning public areas and watering public gardens. This situation highlighted the urgent need to manage this resource in a responsible and more efficient manner, especially in moments of high water demand such as drought periods.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 23, 2017
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