The water resources

The Project “Quantification and sustainable management of the renewable water resources in the mountain group of the Pale di San Martino through analysis of the hydrograms and numerical modelling of the aquifers”

This project was born from a cooperation over the years between the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Natural Park Authority and the Roma Tre University on the topic of water resources. In this context, a research doctorate in hydrogeology was developed, run by the Roma Tre University in the 2014-2017 three-year period, which involved the mountain group of the Pale di San Martino, including the western sector of the Pale di San Lucano and the Agner group. The doctorate programme has made it possible to obtain the relevant preliminary knowledge the underground water circulation, also thanks to the support of the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Park Authority and many other local bodies, including the Autonomous Province of Trento and the ARPAV. The doctorate programme has led to the recognition of two international awards:

● the Prize for “Best Research Paper on Regional Groundwater Flow” organised by the Regional Groundwater Flow Commission and Early Career Hydrogologists’ Network of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, recognised in Rome at the congress AQUA 2015;

● the “Young Karst Researcher Prize 2017” Prize delivered by the IAH Karst Commission at the 44th edition of the IAH Congress “Groundwater Heritage and Sustainability” in Dubrovnik, Croatia for a study of excellence in research in karst contexts.

Starting from the end of April 2018, thanks to the support of the Fondazione CARITRO, a new post-doctoral research project was initiated with the purpose of increasing the hydrogeological knowledge of this sector of the Dolomites. The project has as host institution the Paneveggio National Park and it will take place in collaboration with the University of Roma Tre.

The objective of the project is to carry out the first continuous monitoring of the water sources in the area and to carry out studies of a hydrogeological character that quantify the water resources, studying the mechanisms that regulate the water flow. In recent years, the Pale di San Martino, as in general the entirety of the alpine range, are undergoing a stress on water resources due to the increase of temperatures and the persistence of periods of drought in the winter months, which has as a consequence a reduction of the replenishing of the hydrogeological system. In order to confront this situation and in general, for a more correct planning of the management of water resources, it is therefore necessary to carry out detailed studies. The study in question will be based on the analysis of the hydrograms, i.e. the variation of the flow rates in the time of the punctual and linear sources (water courses). From the analysis of the hydrograms, one can extract parameters that allow the verification of the behaviour of a source and it is possible to investigate the characteristics and the extension of its basin feeding. Using flow and climate data, it is also possible to set the numerical simulations of the aquifers that will be used to reproduce the scenarios of the evolution of the water resource as a function of global climate change and/or changes of use and of the request for the resource itself.

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