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Title: Sustainability Indicators of Groundwater Withdrawal in a Heavily Stressed System: The Case of the Acque Albule Basin (Rome, Italy)
Authors: Piscopo, Vincenzo 
Sbarbati, Chiara 
Lotti, Francesca
Lana, Luigi
Petitta, Marco
Issue Date: 2022
Groundwater sustainable yield is a concept widely treated theoretically in the literature. Moving from theoretical concepts to the definition of practical measures for groundwater management is not easy due to site-specific characteristics of the system. This study is aimed at identifying which factors influence the sustainable yield of the plain of Tivoli (Central Italy), where thermal springs with considerable flow (over 2 m3/s) emerge (or rather emerged) and supply a thermal plant. In the same plain, another profitable economic activity concerns the extraction of travertine; it caused a progressive decline in groundwater levels and in the discharge of the thermal springs. The hydrogeological history of the site and the data available in the literature and in new focused surveys are encapsulated in a simple flow model addressed to compare the pre- with the under-development conditions. The withdrawal of groundwater from the quarry area determined a significant impact on the water balance of the system. An increase in inflow from surrounding aquifers and a decrease in storage and in natural discharge of the travertine aquifer result in under-development conditions. Residual discharges towards the springs and river are very sensitive to the pumping flow rate of quarries, according to an inverse linear relationship; this hydrogeological feature may be adopted as an indicator of the sustainability of groundwater withdrawals from the plain. The residual discharge is most affected by the position of the pumping center in the groundwater flow net and its distance from boundaries to be captured, as well as on the depth and extent of the quarries. This lays the basis for developing sustainable management models of groundwater considering the economic and environmental aspects of the issue.
ISSN: 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/su142215248
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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