Groundwater: an important but invisible resource

Pioneers work in Turkey

December, 2015-. Groundwater is water that exists within soils and broken rocks underneath the ground. Groundwater is a part of the overall hydrologic cycle. It gets into the ground mostly through rain seeping into the soil, a process called infiltration. Sections of soil and/or rock that hold groundwater (think of them as rocky sponges) from which the water can be taken for us to use are called aquifers. Water is taken from the aquifer to the surface using wells and pumps.

Like in many other countries, groundwater is used for irrigation or treatment to produce drinking water. Many farmers in Turkey use groundwater to grow their crops. Groundwater is also used by Turkish food and other industries. Although not certain, many experts assume that there is over abstraction of ground water and that the quality does not meet always the standards.

The RIBAMAP project has started the initial delineation of groundwater bodies in the basins Meriç-Ergene, Susurluk, Büyük Menderes and Konya. It will be the first delineation, ever made in Turkey, and so pioneers work. We held an important and successful workshop on this matter on 12 and 13 November in Ankara, attended by the Spanish – Turkish Consortium companies, Ministries, Universities and research institutes.  The results will be used to do the initial delineation of the groundwater bodies.

In spring 2016, the RIBAMAP project will start monitoring the quality and quantity of the groundwater bodies that have been initially delineated. After monitoring (by the end of 2016), we will have many more data to do the final delineation of the groundwater bodies and to develop a programme of measures to achieve the good water status for these ‘invisible’ but very important water bodies. The management of the groundwater bodies will be an essential part of the EU River basin Management Plans for the basins Meriç-Ergene, Susurluk, Büyük Menderes and Konya.

Henk Sterk

This Publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Consortium led by Tragsatec and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.