The Groundwater Project

Urban Groundwater

Book Cover for Urban Groundwater
Publication year: 2023
Number of pages: 274

ISBN: 978‑1‑77470‑041‑9

Author:

Ken Howard: University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada

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Released: 6 September 2023

Description

During the past fifty years, urban groundwater has emerged as one of the world’s pressing issues. Explosive population growth in cities throughout the world has created an inordinate demand for safe groundwater supplies, raising concerns for their long-term sustainability at a time when aquifers are being increasingly degraded by human activity. Cities less reliant on aquifers for water supply are equally obliged to monitor and manage underground water because leakage from pressurized water pipes and sewers can cause groundwater levels to rise resulting in land instability, flooded basements, tunnels, and electrical utilities. Such conditions can instigate the release of polluted water to urban wetlands, springs, and streams.

There is a growing recognition that most urban groundwater problems are not uniquely associated with a particular region or hydrogeological environment, and that much can be learned by sharing our understanding of the successes and failures of others. In urban settings, groundwater issues are invariably complex. However, valuable scientific and technological progress has been made in key areas such as urban water balance calculations, contaminant source characterization, aquifer vulnerability mapping, recharge management, conjunctive water use, and modeling of urban environments. Significant improvements have been made in urban groundwater governance, allowing for greater involvement of stakeholders in decision-making. The challenge is to integrate these advances into effective, holistic, plans for pro-active, sustainable, urban groundwater management.

Contents

1 URBAN GROUNDWATER AND THE URBAN SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE THE CONTEXT

1.1 GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH AND THE GROWTH OF URBAN AREAS

1.2 URBAN GROUNDWATER OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

1.3 BOOK OUTLINE

2 THE EVOLVING ROLE OF GROUNDWATER IN URBAN AREAS AND THE HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE

2.1 EVOLVING ROLE OF GROUNDWATER IN URBAN AREAS

2.2 HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE OF URBAN GROUNDWATER

2.3 SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS IN URBAN GROUNDWATER HIGHLIGHTS

2.3.1 Urban Karst
2.3.2 Made Ground/Urban Fill
2.3.3 Deep Building Foundations
2.3.4 The Urban Water Balance
2.3.5 Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)
2.3.6 Pollutant Source Characterization
2.3.7 Contaminant Migration
2.3.8 Disposal Methods for All Types of Domestic and Industrial Waste
2.3.9 Approaches to Monitoring
2.3.10 Aquifer Vulnerability Mapping and Methods of Groundwater Protection

2.4 SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES URBAN HYDROGEOLOGY AND ITS UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS

2.5 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 2

3 IMPACTS OF URBANIZATION ON THE URBAN WATER BALANCE – QUANTITIES AND FLOWS

3.1 AQUIFER REPLENISHMENT (RECHARGE)

3.1.1 Direct Recharge
3.1.2 Indirect Recharge
3.1.3 Additional Sources of Urban Recharge

3.2 AQUIFER OUTFLOW (DISCHARGE)

3.3 AQUIFER RESPONSE TO INEQUITIES IN THE URBAN WATER BALANCE – RISING AND FALLING WATER LEVELS

3.3.1 Cities that Use Local Groundwater for Supply
3.3.2 Cities that Do Not Use or No Longer Use Local Groundwater for Supply

3.4 THE CRITICAL ROLES OF URBAN FILL, URBAN KARST, AND DEEP FOUNDATIONS

3.5 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 3

4 IMPACTS ON WATER QUALITY

4.1 POINT, LINE, AND DISTRIBUTED SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION

4.2 PRIMARY SOURCES OF URBAN GROUNDWATER POLLUTION

4.2.1 Industry and Industrial Waste
4.2.2 Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
4.2.3 Disposal of Domestic Sewage
4.2.4 Exfiltration from Sewers and Sewage Canals
4.2.5 Septic Systems and Pit Latrines
4.2.6 Chemical Fertilizers
4.2.7 Pesticides
4.2.8 Landfills
4.2.9 Road De icing Chemicals
4.2.10 Urban Stormwater
4.2.11 Nature of Pollutants in Urban Stormwater
4.2.12 Impacts of Stormwater Runoff on Groundwater Quality

4.3 URBAN GROUNDWATER QUALITY – COMPOUNDING FACTORS

4.3.1 Monitoring Data
4.3.2 Influence of Urban Karst on Contaminant Transport

4.4 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 4

5 MAJOR GLOBAL CHALLENGES

5.1 MEGACITIES AND PERI URBAN AREAS

5.1.1 The Peri-Urban Battlefields
5.1.2 A Megacity Example of the Urban Groundwater Sustainability Challenge – New Delhi, India

5.2 SEAWATER INTRUSION

5.2.1 Chennai, India – A Case Study in Salt Water Intrusion

5.3 LAND SUBSIDENCE

5.3.1 Mexico City
5.3.2 Tokyo, Japan
5.3.3 Bangkok, Thailand

5.4 FURTHER READING

5.5 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 5

6 SOLUTIONS TO THE URBAN SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE

6.1 THE CHALLENGE

6.2 MEETING THE CHALLENGE: THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

6.2.1 Increasing Urban Water Supply
6.2.2 Reducing Water Demand
6.2.3 Using Available Water More Efficiently

6.3 GROUNDWATER RESOURCE PROTECTION

6.3.1 Standards of Practice
6.3.2 Standards of Performance

6.4 RESOURCE PROTECTION/MANAGEMENT USING MODELS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT

6.4.1 AISUWRS (Assessing and Improving Sustainability of Urban Water Resources Systems)
6.4.2 The UGROW Model
6.4.3 Urban Members of the MIKE SHE Software Family

6.5 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 6

7 URBAN GROUNDWATER GOVERNANCE

7.1 EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES ON URBAN GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE

7.2 URBAN GROUNDWATER AND THE FAILURE OF IWRM/IWM/IUWM

7.3 THE GEF PROJECT – GROUNDWATER GOVERNANCE – A GLOBAL FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION (2011-2014)

7.4 A FRAMEWORK FOR WATER GOVERNANCE IN URBAN AREAS

7.5 EXERCISES RELATED TO SECTION 7

8 KEY TAKEAWAYS AND PRIORITY DATA NEEDS

8.1 THE URBAN AQUIFER FRAMEWORK

8.2 THE URBAN WATER BALANCE

8.3 POTENTIOMETRIC LEVELS

8.4 CONTAMINANT SOURCES

8.5 GROUNDWATER QUALITY

9 EXERCISES

10 REFERENCES

11 EXERCISE SOLUTIONS

12 ABOUT THE AUTHOR