Project

The MEDSAL Project aims to secure the availability and quality of groundwater reserves in Mediterranean coastal areas, which are amongst the most vulnerable regions in the world to water scarcity and quality degradation. This will be addressed by providing a novel holistic approach, towards the sustainable management of coastal aquifers, which are affected by increased (single or multi-induced) groundwater salinization risk, especially under the variable meteo-climatic conditions of the Mediterranean and the rapidly changing socio-economic context.

Main goal

“The MEDSAL Project aims to secure the availability and quality of groundwater reserves in Mediterranean coastal areas, which are amongst the most vulnerable regions in the world to water scarcity and quality degradation. This will be addressed by providing a novel holistic approach, towards the sustainable management of coastal aquifers, which are affected by increased (single or multi-induced) groundwater salinization risk, especially under the variable meteo-climatic conditions of the Mediterranean and the rapidly changing socio-economic context.

Ambition

MEDSAL aims at developing innovative methods to identify various sources and processes of salinization and at providing an integrated set of modeling tools that capture the dynamics and risks of salinization. In this context, MEDSAL will provide a classification of groundwater salinization types for Mediterranean coasts and innovative methods to detect these types, also in complex karstic and data-scarce environments. These outcomes will be reached by better integration of hydrogeochemical and environmental isotope data with physical-based groundwater flow and transport models and advanced geostatistics. Artificial intelligence and deep learning methods will be also used to improve the detection of patterns in multi-dimensional hydrogeochemical and isotope data.

Objectives

MEDSAL’s main goal will be achieved through the accomplishment of 8 technical objectives.

ObjectiveDescription
1Deliver new tools for the identification of variable (multi-induced) and often cascading salinization sources and processes
2Derive, build and integrate coherent and robust datasets of critical parameters related to GWS, especially in areas of insufficient and/or negligible availability
3Couple physical-based models (hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical), environmental isotopes, advanced geostatistical methods and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques (shallow and deep learning) to develop novel approaches and methods in the simulation and forecasting of GWS
4Identify new patterns and develop new proxies for monitoring, assessment, and forecasting of GWS in areas with scarce data and/or limited financial and human resources
5Elaborate tailor-made risk assessment and management plans by coupling GWS forecasts with climate change impacts and future scenarios
6Develop a public domain web-GIS Observatory (MOb) for monitoring, alerting, decision support and management of coastal groundwater reserves around the Mediterranean
7Facilitate public participation and enhance the active engagement of local societies to dataset development and monitoring
8Facilitate fusion of expertise among academia and stakeholders (national level) and transfer of technology and know-how among the participating countries (international level), including cross-training on methods, tools, and services.