Aquifer Vulnerability Assessment and Wellhead Protection Areas to Prevent Groundwater Contamination in Agricultural Areas: An Integrated Approach
Stefano Lo Russo, Glenda Taddia
Polytechnic of Turin.
DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2012.48078   PDF   HTML     5,219 Downloads   7,680 Views   Citations


To implement successful policies for the protection of groundwater and curtail the possibility of water supply contamination, an early evaluation of aquifer vulnerability is needed. Rather than implementing broad restrictions to land use and effluent discharge, it is more cost-effective and economically favourable to approach protection in a stepwise manner by first assessing the intrinsic vulnerability of the aquifer when defining the level of land use control that is needed to protect groundwater quality. Following aquifer vulnerability evaluation, specific land uses and restrictions should be defined locally for each water supply within the wellhead protection areas (WHPAs), which are identified by means of the groundwater time of travel (TOT). The WHPA should be established for each individual situation, considering the level of vulnerability of the exploited aquifer. We applied our findings to a specific test site in the Piemonte region of NW Italy, following the current local procedure for individuating the WHPAs. Using data gathered from this site-specific exercise, we identified that the procedure allows methods that consider only aquifer parameters to evaluate vulnerability and discourages the use of techniques that already compartmentalize soil parameters in the vulnerability assessment.

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Lo Russo, S. and Taddia, G. (2012) Aquifer Vulnerability Assessment and Wellhead Protection Areas to Prevent Groundwater Contamination in Agricultural Areas: An Integrated Approach. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 4, 674-685. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2012.48078.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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