Impact of farming on the water resources of the Fucino Plain (central Italy)
Keywords:water resource, agriculture, hydrological budget, nitrates, water table monitoring
During the last decade an hydrogeological study has been developed in the Fucino Plain (Abruzzo Region,Italy) and in the surrounding carbonate aquifers, with the aim of evaluating the relationships between hydrology and agriculture. Meteoclimatic data, discharges of spring and channels, water table monitoring and hydrogeochemical data, including nitrates and pesticides, have been acquired. Results allowed the evaluation of the agricultural impact on groundwater resources, both for management and overexploitation and for nitrate and pesticide content in waters. Updating of hydrogeological data confirmed the abundant groundwater availability, looking into relationships between recharge and discharge areas of carbonate aquifers. In addition, taking into account the increase of irrigation requirements and withdrawals, a clear seasonal unbalance has been observed. During drought periods this fact causes the dramatic discharge decrease, the sharp lowering of the water table and the related increase of nitrate and pesticide contents. Possible emergencies can be depicted by future scenarios, despite to the limited groundwater vulnerability. New operative instruments are suggested to obtain a modern integrated management of water resource, taking into account human requirements and environmental protection.
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