University of Twente Student Theses


Effects of human landscape interventions on groundwater drought

Ratering, P. (2023) Effects of human landscape interventions on groundwater drought.

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Abstract:Groundwater drought is an unwanted phenomenon with multiple negative effects on society. Groundwater drought is defined as a decrease in groundwater levels from normal conditions in groundwater levels. Due to climate change and growing water demands, it is receiving increasing attention. Groundwater levels, and therefore groundwater droughts, are influenced by nature-based human interventions, which can be described as water-related anthropogenic adjustments in landscapes. These interventions are constructed with various objectives and in spatially different environments in terms of area characteristics, resulting in varying impacts on groundwater levels and droughts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of three different types of interventions on groundwater drought. The first intervention was a peat restoration project for the nature area Korenburgerveen. The second intervention was a newly constructed waterway called De Doorbraak near Almelo and the last intervention was a newly constructed side channel and lowered flood plains known as the Scheller and Oldeneler buitenwaarden near Zwolle. Analysing the effects of such interventions is of great value and provides relevant information to decision-makers for future interventions or adjustments to existing ones. Additionally, the results of this research can be used to validate geohydrological models applied before the construction of the intervention, increasing the accuracy of these models. To achieve the objective of this study, a data-driven model technique is used based on transfer function noise modelling. This model is applied with the open-source Python package Pastas, which is widely used to perform time series analysis. For this study, Pastas is implemented to model groundwater levels in the presence of intervention and without the presence of an intervention. Comparing these two series for various locations near the intervention provides information about the temporal and spatial impact of the intervention on groundwater levels and drought. The research showed varying impacts on groundwater droughts between the different interventions, over space and time for the specific interventions. First, the peat restoration resulted in a strong decrease in the duration and intensity of groundwater droughts inside the area, and a smaller decrease outside the area. Second, De Doorbraak resulted in increased and decreased groundwater droughts close to the new stream, but further away no impact was observed. Third, the Scheller and Oldeneler buitenwaarden increased the groundwater recharge groundwater which decreased the duration and intensity of groundwater drought in general. However, the impact varies spatially. Overall, it is highly recommended that decision-makers perform detailed preliminary investigations on hydrology, geology and other area characteristics to increase understanding of the area. This positively contributes to accuracy in forecasting the effects of interventions on groundwater droughts.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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