CS1: Achterhoek, Gelderland, the Netherlands

The Achterhoek is a region located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, specifically in the province of Gelderland. It is situated between the IJssel River to the west, the German border to the east, and the Twente region to the north. The Achterhoek consists of various municipalities, including Winterswijk, Doetinchem, Berkelland, and Oost Gelre (see below). This rural area is known for its picturesque landscapes, historic villages, castles, and farms. The Achterhoek is popular for its cycling and hiking trails, as well as its cultural events and festivals. The Achterhoek area is not densely populated and features large amounts of pastureland and natural landscapes from Roman times. The region has large forests in Montferland and sand flats near Doetinchem.

Regarding GW quality, droughts have been increasingly common in this area in recent years, and it is projected that they will become more severe and frequent in the future as a result of climate change. The summer of 2018 was an extreme example of drought in the Netherlands, with high temperatures and below-average precipitation causing a significant precipitation deficit.

Under the NINFA project, the effect of drought and drought-relief measures on groundwater quality will be investigated with a focus on nitrates and micropollutants. This will be done through two steps tackled in Work Package (WP) 2:

  • Develop a cost-efficient monitoring strategy based on the integration of existing sensors and analytical approaches with innovative tools.
  • Assess the existing sources and pathways of GW pollution, their synergistic effects with stressors such as droughts and floods or prevention/mitigation measures, by testing and validating hydrogeological and reactive transport models for nutrients, pesticides, and emerging contaminants from wastewater. Furthermore, it is proposed to create management scenarios and propose measures to mitigate the effects of drought on the groundwater system.