‘Groundwater: Invisible and indispensable’ – The results of the Dutch Study Group on Groundwater: What you need to know.
Recent increases in drought and drought severity have affected our role in land and water management.
The analysis of the Groundwater Study Group shows that groundwater is an invisible resource, often taken for granted. As a result, it is often at the bottom of the list of tasks. However, in parts of the Netherlands, groundwater is increasing in salinity and becoming more polluted due to chemical runoff and contamination, as well as groundwater levels dropping, without replenishment.
The role groundwater plays is fundamental to natural processes and human activities: it protects natural ecosystems and provides for flora and fauna, and enables societal functions, pumped for drinking water, irrigation for agriculture and industry, heats our homes, and protects building foundations from collapsing. Yet responsibilities for such a fundamental component of society is split amongst municipalities, water boards, provinces and the state, but also lie in part with home and landowners. This makes governance complex and cooperation necessary. Safeguard groundwater for today and the future is necessary.
The Groundwater Study Group developed following 10 recommendations to address these issues:
- Retain groundwater. Provide water management and land use that is focused on the groundwater retention of the soil;
- Contribute to nature restoration by achieving a sustainable balance between groundwater and land use (including drinking water extraction);
- Limit and secure costs of groundwater flooding and shortage through life cycle approach in subsidence-prone areas;
- Effectively fulfil the groundwater care obligation of municipalities;
- Limit and accept salinization from groundwater;
- Prevent further deterioration of groundwater quality through source control;
- Increase speed of action by frequent measurement in upper groundwater;
- Encourage knowledge development and sharing in the areas of groundwater quality and energy transition;
- Improve permitting, monitoring and enforcement in the groundwater domain;
- Ensure adequate attention to groundwater in policy (instruments) and plans
Managing starts with Measuring
Managing groundwater starts with measuring green water, the water fraction that is held within the soil before becoming ground water. The increasing relevance of green water management impacts effective soil and water conservation practices. Good green-water management leads to better water availability and quality. Which is why managing water, starts with good soil moisture data.
Sensoterra’s newest generation wireless soil moisture sensors are revolutionizing the way how soil moisture data is monitored:
- The sensors are low-cost, which means that more sensors can be placed for less money.
- Data can be retrieved with the free Sensoterra app, but the sensors are built to integrate. The open API, enables integrations with water management platforms and solutions.
- The sensors can be installed in <1 minute without use of additional tools, because the sensors are hammerable (patented).
- The sensors are 100% maintenance free, with a built- in battery which runs up to 8 years.
- High accuracy is achieved with an extensive library of standard soil calibrations, for all soil types.
- Different lengths are available for different applications.
To learn more download our white paper on Managing Stars with Measuring.