Water & climate change

Influence of long-time climate change on groundwater resources and groundwater recharge in arid areas

The use of numerical groundwater models allows us to use scenario analysis to determine the impact of climate change on groundwater resources. For our study area in Israel, it is shown that resource-intensive use of water resources can lead to a rapid decline in water levels of 2 meters in the next 5 years, followed by a further decline of 3 meters by 2040.

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The combination of experimental investigations of the water flow in the unsaturated zone and numerical modeling allows a long-time prognoses of groundwater recharge. Based on column experiments, arid climate was simulated in the laboratory on desert sands.

The coupling of climate projections from a global climate model with regional water flow in the unsaturated zone shows a concise influence of erratic rain events that are responsible for an increased groundwater recharge up to a depth of 30m even with increasing aridity.

funded by BMBF (IWAS) and IPSWaT