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Water distribution

English title Water distribution
Applicant Schirmer Mario
Number 169003
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Wasserressourcen und Trinkwasser EAWAG
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.03.2017 - 30.04.2021
Approved amount 555'897.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Geology
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (12)

Surface water / groundwater interactions; Water distribution; Hydrology; Semi-distributed model; Adaptive monitoring; Groundwater; Retention areas; Groundwater recharge; Extreme event; Flooding; Dry periods; Hydrogeology

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Wir untersuchen im Forschungsprojekt „Water Distribution“ den Wasserkreislauf vom Niederschlag, der Infiltration, der Grundwasserneubildung und des Oberflächenwasserabflusses auf Einzugsgebietsebene. Die Thur dient als Experimentalflusseinzugsgebiet für detaillierte Untersuchungen und zur Modellentwicklung. An dem Beispiel wollen wir untersuchen, wie Extremereignisse abgeschwächt werden können, indem Wasser bei Starkregen verteilt werden kann, um in Trockenperioden genutzt zu werden.
Lay summary

Wasser ist von essentieller Bedeutung für die gesamte Umwelt. Wasser spielt eine tragende Rolle in allen physikalischen, chemischen und sozio-ökonomischen Systemen. Auf der einen Seite beeinflusst der Wasserzyklus in signifikanter Weise die klimatischen Bedingungen und reagiert selbst sehr sensitiv auf eine sich wandelnde Umwelt. Diese Rückkopplungsprozesse sind höchst komplex. Auf der anderen Seite können sich ändernde Wasserverfügbarkeiten und Extremereignisse dramatisch auf das Wassereinzugsgebiet auswirken.

 

Wir untersuchen im Forschungsprojekt „Water Distribution“ den Wasserkreislauf vom Niederschlag, der Verdunstung, der Infiltration, der Grundwasserneubildung und des Oberflächenwasserabflusses auf Einzugsgebietsebene. Die Thur dient als Experimentalflusseinzugsgebiet mit einer Fläche von 1700 km2 für detaillierte Felduntersuchungen und zur Modellentwicklung. Bei den Feldarbeiten gilt es Beobachtungstrategien zu entwickeln, die es ermöglichen, adaptiv die Messzyklen zu verändern, damit bei Extremereignissen ein Gesamtprozessverständnis entwickelt werden kann. Die in Echtzeit erhobenen Felddaten, wie Temperatur, elektrische Leitfähigkeit und Wasserstand, werden direkt in eine Datenbank gespeist und später durch zusätzliche Analysedaten aus automatisch gewonnenen Proben ergänzt. Gleichzeitig werden die Daten genutzt, um das entwickelte Einzugsgebietsmodell anzupassen.

 

Wir werden Empfehlungen geben, wo im Einzugsgebiet Retentionsflächen gebaut werden können. Weiterhin werden wir Flächen und Flussabschnitte identifizieren, die ausreichend Grundwasserneubildung (in Bezug auf Flutereignisse, Fluss-Grundwasser-Austausch) gewährleisten, um eine nachhaltige Trinkwasserproduktion auch in Trockenperioden zu sichern.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 14.10.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Understanding dominant controls on streamflow spatial variability to set up a semi-distributed hydrological model: the case study of the Thur catchment
Dal Molin Marco, Schirmer Mario, Zappa Massimiliano, Fenicia Fabrizio (2020), Understanding dominant controls on streamflow spatial variability to set up a semi-distributed hydrological model: the case study of the Thur catchment, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24(3), 1319-1345.
A review of threats to groundwater quality in the anthropocene
Burri Nicole M., Weatherl Robin, Moeck Christian, Schirmer Mario (2019), A review of threats to groundwater quality in the anthropocene, in Science of The Total Environment, 684, 136-154.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Amt für Umwelt Kanton Thurgau Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Amt für Wasser und Energie, Kanton St. Gallen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
i4 Consulting Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Marco Baumann, Agency for the Environment Canton Thurgau Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. David Rudolph, University of Waterloo Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Massimiliano Zappa, WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dmitri Kavetski, University of Adelaide Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Technical University of Dresden Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2020 Talk given at a conference SuperflexPy: a new open source framework for building conceptual hydrological models 05.12.2020 online, United States of America Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio; Dal Molin Marco;
ZHydro Seminar 2020, Switzerland, Online Talk given at a conference Hydrogeological Explorations Using Remotely Sensed Data 25.11.2020 Dübendorf, Switzerland Schirmer Mario; Burri Nicole Marianne; Dal Molin Marco; Fenicia Fabrizio;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Talk given at a conference omparing the impact for hydrology of the new ERA5 reanalyses dataset over ERA-Interim for 8 hydrological models in 6 catchments using the eWaterCycle community modelling environment 09.05.2020 online, Austria Fenicia Fabrizio; Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Talk given at a conference SuperflexPy: a new open source framework for building conceptual hydrological models 08.05.2020 online, Austria Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Talk given at a conference Exploring signatures-based calibration of hydrological models for prediction in ungauged basins 07.05.2020 online, Austria Schirmer Mario; Dal Molin Marco; Fenicia Fabrizio;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Talk given at a conference Understanding what to account for and what to ignore in the design of distributed hydrological models 06.05.2020 online, Austria Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio; Dal Molin Marco;
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2019 Poster ERA-Interim vs ERA-5 Hydrology Comparison 12.12.2019 San Francisco, United States of America Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio;
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2019 Poster Data analysis and model building for understanding catchment processes: the case study of the Thur catchment 10.12.2019 San Francisco, United States of America Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio;
ZHydro Seminar 2018 Talk given at a conference SuperflexPy: a new open source framework for building conceptual hydrological models 20.11.2019 Zurich, Switzerland Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio; Dal Molin Marco;
Ground Water Division (GWD) Conference in Port Elisabeth, South Africa Talk given at a conference Spatiotemporal water budget calculation at the regional-catchment scale using a multiparameter approach: a case study from the Thur Catchment, Switzerland 10.10.2019 Port Elisabeth, South Africa Burri Nicole Marianne; Schirmer Mario;
National Wetland Indaba (NWI) in Tzaneen, South Africa Talk given at a conference Surface-groundwater connections: A data-driven spatiotemporal water budget calculation at the regional scale using the Thur Catchment in Switzerland as a case study 07.10.2019 Tzaneen, South Africa Burri Nicole Marianne; Schirmer Mario;
Groundwater Quality (GQ) Conference in Liege, Belgium Poster Spatial and temporal water budget calibration at the regional-catchment scale using remotely sensed data: Thur Catchment, Switzerland 10.09.2019 Liege, Belgium Dal Molin Marco; Burri Nicole Marianne; Schirmer Mario;
PhD Conference - Water-Earth Systems, Lausanne Zürich, Switzerland Poster Water balance calculation at the regional-catchment scale using a remotely sensed water budget: Thur catchment, Switzerland 23.05.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Dal Molin Marco; Burri Nicole Marianne; Fenicia Fabrizio; Schirmer Mario;
PhD Conference - Water-Earth Systems, ETH Zürich, Switzerland Talk given at a conference Comparing different approaches for predictions in ungauged catchments 23.05.2019 Zurich, Switzerland Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Poster Assessing uncertainties for predictions in ungauged catchments 13.04.2019 Vienna, Austria Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Talk given at a conference Comparing different approaches for predictions in ungauged catchments 08.04.2019 Vienna, Austria Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio;
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2018 Talk given at a conference Exploring signature based calibration of hydrological models for predictions in ungauged catchments 13.12.2018 Washington, United States of America Dal Molin Marco; Fenicia Fabrizio; Schirmer Mario;
ZHydro Seminar 2018 Poster Remotely sensed groundwater budget at the meso-catchment scale: Thur Catchment, Switzerland 31.10.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Schirmer Mario; Burri Nicole Marianne; Dal Molin Marco; Fenicia Fabrizio;
PhD Conference - Water-Earth Systems, ETH Zürich, Switzerland Talk given at a conference Surface-ground water connections: An integrated investigation at the catchment scale 20.06.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario; Fenicia Fabrizio; Burri Nicole Marianne;
PhD Conference - Water-Earth Systems, ETH Zürich, Switzerland Poster Data analysis and model building for understanding catchment processes 20.06.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Fenicia Fabrizio; Schirmer Mario; Dal Molin Marco;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria Poster Modelling streamflow to get insights about catchment characteristics 13.04.2018 Vienna, Austria Schirmer Mario; Dal Molin Marco; Fenicia Fabrizio;
European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, April 2018 Poster Surface-ground water connections: An integrated investigation at the catchment scale 09.04.2018 Vienna, Austria Burri Nicole Marianne; Dal Molin Marco; Schirmer Mario;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Water distribution - mitigating climate change 24.01.2020 Dübendorf, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Water distribution - mitigating climate change Eawag News Western Switzerland International Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Water distribution in a changing world Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland International Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2020

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
149126 River Floodplains 01.10.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
143688 Alpine Hydrogeology and Climate Change 01.11.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
125856 Riverbank filtration under climate change scenarios (RIBACLIM) 01.01.2010 NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management
125995 Groundwater resources under changing climatic conditions 01.03.2010 NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management

Abstract

Water Distribution- Adaptive monitoring and distributed modelling at catchment scale -Part 2: Scientific InformationPrincipal Investigators:Mario Schirmer, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyFabrizio Fenicia, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyMain Collaborators:David Rudolph, University of Waterloo, CanadaDmitri Kavetski, University of Adelaide, Australiai4 Consulting, Padova, ItalyMarco Baumann, Office for the Environment Canton Thurgau, SwitzerlandMassimiliano Zappa, WSL, SwitzerlandPlanned project duration: January 01, 2017 - December 31, 2019 1. Summary of the research planWhich measures for river corridor protection, restoration and management are most effective to influence river levels, without compromising the ecological status of a catchment, is still poorly understood. The objective of this project is to investigate how retention areas, river restoration efforts and groundwater systems can be used to help mitigate the effects of floods and drought. We will develop indicators on how the measures will affect different functions of groundwater (water use, sustainable eco-/agricultural systems, flood mitigation) and, more generally, how groundwater flow systems modify the response of catchments. The study sites include high altitude groundwater flow systems that play an integral role for drinking water supply and groundwater flow systems in alluvial plains. Future management strategies will be developed in close collaboration with the Thur Group, as well as river managers of the Thur catchment including representatives from all cantons along the Thur River and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. We will focus our studies on the more natural flood-dependent groundwater recharge in restored river reaches within the Thur catchment in comparison to channelized sections. In addition, we will develop guidelines on where to provide retention areas throughout the catchment. Furthermore, we will identify areas and river stretches with sufficient groundwater recharge (with regards to flooding, river-groundwater exchange, drinking water production) for sustainable exploitation of drinking water within dry periods.Specifically, our investigation will be carried out by focusing on the following specific objectives:a) Our existing data platform (a custom geodatabase and WebGIS platform) for water quantity will be further developed. It subdivides the Thur catchment into six subcatchments and fully captures the hydraulic dynamics at the outlets of the subcatchments. This information will help to characterize dominant runoff generation processes and to define Hydrological Response Units (HRUs) within these catchments. The goal is to generically include the groundwater flow system into the semi-distributed model.b) By constantly monitoring EC, water temperature and water level at many different locations throughout the catchment an adaptive and event-based monitoring scheme for selected locations for water quality will be developed. At these locations, auto-samplers will be installed for subsequent chemical analyses. Based on the event and prior information on the trends in changes of water quality, sampling intervals and locations will be adapted. It is the ultimate goal, to measure in the end only EC, water temperature and water level as surrogate measured that allow predictions of the changes in water quality during any event.c) The development of a semi-distributed model for streamflow simulation within a hypothesis-testing framework through the subdivision of the Thur catchment into subcatchments and further into Hydrological Response Units (HRUs).d) The comparison of the semi-distributed model with other models developed for the study area. In particular, we will test the regionalization performance of this model in comparison with a Flow Duration Curve model set-up in the area, and the PREVAH model.e) The extension of the semi-distributed model to water quality data. The objective is to model streamflow chemistry, represented by the concentration of specific substances, or integrated indicators such as EC.f) The further developed data base and model framework for the Thur catchment will be applied to the Piave catchment in Italy. It is the objective to test the overall concept.
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