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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"The use of groundwater indicators to detect climate change impacts and violation of sustainability rules"

In this paper, an integrated approach to assess groundwater availability under Global Change is presented. This approach is embedded in the DSS DANUBIA which was developed by the GLOWA-Danube research cooperation ( during the past seven years. DANUBIA is a fully coupled system that is comprised of 16 individual models to describe all compartments of the hydrological cycle (natural and socioeconomic) of the Upper Danube catchment (Germany, 77 000 km2). The assessment makes use of three indicators which are based on three physical parameters: groundwater recharge, groundwater level and infiltration from groundwater to surface water (“baseflow”) – aggregated monthly for each groundwater body. The indicators are calculated by evaluating the deviation of these parameters for characteristic response periods from the conditions in a reference period. The final assessment is based on a weighting of each indicator according to the hydrogeological conditions in the respective groundwater body. The assessment results in a classification of each groundwater body in five status categories (good … very bad) which are called “groundwater quantity flags”.

Keywords: Groundwater Indicators, Climate Change, Sustainability, Integration, Danube Catchment