New Master thesis: „Sustainability of Groundwater in the Mediterranean in the Context of Climate Change – An Investigation of Groundwater Recharge Projections using an Ensemble of Global Hydrological Models”
Daniel Kretschmer from Technical University of Munich has written his master thesis on “Sustainability of Groundwater in the Mediterranean in the Context of Climate Change” in cooperation with ICWRGC. Mr. Kretschmer successfully defended his thesis on 31.05.2021.
The Mediterranean is already being heavily affected by an increasing number of natural disasters such as forest fires and droughts. Current climate projections show that the trend of decreasing rainfall and rising temperatures in the Mediterranean will continue. Due to a simultaneous increase of population and a strong use of groundwater resources, the question arises whether existing water reserves can be sustainably used.
Groundwater recharge is the central process ensuring that groundwater resources are replenished and that decides on whether any sustainable use is feasible. If more water is withdrawn than can be recharged, the aquifer will dry up sometime. But the process of groundwater recharge is highly complex and hardly explored on large scales.
In his study, Mr. Kretschmer analysed results of a model ensemble (a combination of 8 global hydrological models and 4 climate models) with regard to groundwater recharge in the Mediterranean under various climate scenarios. The results show that groundwater recharge under RCP2.6 will be reduced on average by 20% and by 30% under RCP6.0. However, the model results of the study show substantial uncertainties.