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Experimental and numerical investigations to calculate long-term recharge in a water stressed region and to optimize nature-based MAR solutions

Climate projections indicate that extreme weather events have increased in frequency and intensity in the past and will affect sensitive Germany in the near future. Our study site, the catchment of the lower Spree, is located in Brandenburg. The region is affected by water stress showing a water deficit of 80 Mio. m3 on an area of 3500 km2 with many competing water users. Our goal is to investigate the impact of shifts in climate, land use and vegetation on recharge and available groundwater resources. In four different catchments with different characteristics we monitor groundwater und lake levels, stream discharge, and depth dependent soil moisture. Isotopic composition of precipitation, groundwater, and surface water is investigated to calculate water fluxes between different compartments. Electrical conductivity down to a depth of 200m below surface is recorded. Measured NaCl concentrations reach up to 10 – 15 g/kg. Employing the hydrological model SWAT evapotranspiration, discharge and soil moisture are calibrated to calculate long-term groundwater ranges pattern, which ranges in average at 77 mm/a. The M-K test shows decreasing recharge from May to August, an increase from December to February, and almost no change from September to November leading to an overall decreasing trend over the last 20 years. We are planning to derive concepts for areas with highest economic or ecological value derived from socio-economic analyses for the implementation of artificial recharge using greywater, treated waste water or storm water to replenish the groundwater deficit and to retain uplift of the saline groundwater water.


Lucia Magnano1, Arif Chowdhury2, Ahmed Abdelrahman1, Ronjon Heim3, Irina Engelhardt1
1TU Berlin, Germany; 2University Stuttgart; 3Adelphi
GeoBerlin 2023