Future climate and land-use change impacts on groundwater availability rates and water quality for water resources

HICSS Future H2O Grundwasser 3500x1500

Foto: Steffen Bender



Climate change will affect the water cycle, including changes in precipitation patterns, increasing water temperature, longer dry periods and enhanced vegetation periods, affecting groundwater recharge and quality. In addition, non-climatic drivers such as land-use change and an increasing global population will affect groundwater quantity and quality.

The Future-H2O-project focuses on the question of the future development of groundwater availability rates and water quality, considering scenarios of climatic drivers and land-use change using a new global water chemistry database (GLOWACHEM) and groundwater level (GWL) data from coastal wells globally. This data is the foundation to answer research questions about patterns and future developments of groundwater quality and quantity with data-driven methods, because those methods highly depend on the target data (e.g. GWL time series or sample data of a chemical variable) and input data of possibly linked drivers. Data-driven methods such as Random Forest and Artificial Neural Networks are increasingly used with respect to groundwater process understanding and prediction of the target variable.

Aims and objectives

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To identify sensitive parameters and methods to monitor change conditions in groundwater systems
  • To analyse combined non-climatic and climatic impact on the regional water cycle
  • To develop a new method to project regional groundwater recharge based on regional climate ensemble simulations
  • To develop indices and tools to analyse climate and land use change drivers for groundwater related assessments
  • To develop methods to project the water quality in non-monitored areas for water resource assessments based on lithology, climate and land use

Project staff

Principal Investigators
Prof. Dr. Jens Hartmann, Universität Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Steffen Bender, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)

PhD Students
Stefan Baltruschat, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)
Annika Nolte, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)