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COASTGUARD - Coastal groundwater dynamics under climate change

Scheme of groundwater dynamics on coasts

Contracting authority (client):

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Project period:

Funding since 2021

Project description:

Groundwater is the primary drinking water supply billions of people worldwide rely on, particularly in coastal areas. At the same time, groundwater discharge into the oceans sustains aquatic ecosystems. While groundwater is under pressure globally due to extensive water abstractions, proximity to coasts amplifies these pressures because of potential seawater intrusion that can endanger groundwater quality. Future climate change and rising sea-levels will additionally alter coastal groundwater dynamics. Recently, global groundwater models have emerged as a possibility to address these challenges on a global scale. The COASTGUARD project will investigate the parameterization of these new models at the ocean boundary and quantify uncertainties that will foster our process understanding on large scales which will be compared to local modelling efforts. COASTGUARD will significantly help to understand and improve these new global model types. Furthermore, the project will improve our understanding of coastal groundwater dynamics at a global scale and highlight regions with particularly strong implications of climate change on groundwater availability and thus drinking water resources and groundwater discharge in coastal areas.

This project has the unique opportunity to

  1. assess the uncertainties in global scale groundwater models concerning their coastal parameterization, e.g., coastline and the possibilities of a refined spatial resolution at the coast,
  2. provide insights on what processes dominate the ocean land boundary on a global scale, and
  3. to quantify the global distribution and transient development of seawater intrusion and submarine groundwater discharge under a changing climate and rising sea levels.

Link to the DFG project page

Scheme of groundwater dynamics on coasts