MEDSAL is expected to have a significant impact on “Water resources availability and quality within catchments and aquifers”. MEDSAL will also have an impact on water security and water availability in terms of quality and quantity and enhance sustainable water resources management of arid and semi-arid areas through innovative tools and techniques. The quality of coastal aquifers is already at risk in 58 % of Spanish coastal aquifers, in 4 major Italian coastal aquifers, in 10 hydrological basins of Greece and in a large number of islands of the Mediterranean. As the process of seawater salinization is complex, multi-causal and slow, it is currently often not recognized in time, identified correctly or detailed work can only be carried out for small aquifers and requires extensive research activity.
Salinization can be detected earlier, because MEDSAL provides faster detection tools that can be scaled and applied to a larger number of sites in a shorter time.
Salinization can be identified better and more reliably because MEDSAL integrates monitoring, sampling and modeling tools to a scalable and variable approach. Multi-source and complex salinization cases, which are dominant, can be analyzed and causes can be attributed to salinization in a quantitative manner. The outcome of MEDSAL will be that remediation measures can be defined and adjusted to succeed.
Salinization can be detected in more aquifers. The MEDSAL approach encompasses simple and straightforward methods (Analytical Element Models) for a fast and rapid assessment, fast conceptual modeling with mixing models and compartment models in case mainly hydrochemical data are available. An indicator for this outcome will be the number of aquifers for which an assessment is feasible and the time required to prepare a model or to collect necessary data.