Fieldwork Water Management Flood control Geology Hydrology Urban Water

Hydrology

Hydrology can be described as the “science of the movement, distribution, and quality of water; including the water cycle, water resources and environmental influences”. All activities of Nectaerra are related to hydrology or geohydrology with their challenges and specific parts of the water cycle.

Water scarcity is a sad fact of life to many regions worldwide, and it looms on the horizon of yet others. As a sustainable source for drinking water or agricultural use, as a strategic reserve in times of need or as a barrier to intruding saline water, groundwater has ample utility in the wide range of water supply, demand and management scenarios. Its favourable environmental and operational characteristics, such as protection from surface pollution, low solute load, chemical stability and constant temperature, make it even more interesting.

Groundwater’s problem often lies in its invisibility, incomplete information on its origin, volume & quality, and the presumed uncertainty as a sustainable and reliable water resource.  Industry leading groundwater expertise that explains both the water’s managerial implications and its physical properties is therefore paramount.Groundwater exploration consists of the hydrological analysis of existing data – often supplemented by newly acquired data through geophysical field investigation – and development of a groundwater concept explaining issues such as groundwater genesis, recharge, distribution, chemistry and the reservoir properties that affect production and protection from saline surroundings. Based on this information, models can be made to predict groundwater flow, residence times, production behaviour and sustainable yield.

Although the framework may be hydrology, in all the work we do we use expertise and tools from water and petroleum sectors, and the scientific community. Our approach is systematic, fundamental and multidisciplinary in nature and often requires specific knowledge in areas of hydrology, coastal (fresh-salt) hydrology, paleoclimatology & -geography, geology, sedimentology, hydrogeochemistry, geophysics, remote sensing and geological & reservoir modelling. On the downstream side of matters, where production comes into play, conventional water drilling and production techniques may not be fully suited for very deep lying aquifers, or offshore palaeogroundwater. To some degree water practices can be combined with technologies from mainly the petroleum industry, while maintaining a low (non oil & gas) cost. NECTÆRRA therefore has several long-standing working arrangements with major engineering consultants in those fields. In all, it allows us to help clients to assess both shallow groundwater resources that may be overstressed, to unknown resources far below the earth surface or even under the sea.

Activities and issues

Hydrological activities:

  • Hydrogeologische system analyses
  • Remote sensing and GIS
  • (Paleo)climatology & geografy
  • Analysis of salt-fresh groundwater boundaries and salinization
  • Fieldwork as pumpingtests, conductivity tests and meteorological correlations
  • Groundwater modelling
  • Urban and sewer system modelling
  • Well design

Typical issues:

  • Spatial dispersion and flow processes of the groundwater?
  • Why and how does the qualityof the water changes?
  • Where does the groundwater originates?
  • What are the local water cycle characteristics?
  • And what are the relations with the environment and surface water?
  • How can we avoid brackish groundwater to exfiltrate?
  • Where and in what quantity’s is it safe to extract groundwater?