At global level, groundwater represents the main source of water supply. In Italy, as well as in most European countries, water needs are mainly covered by groundwater exploitation, and the reliance on this resource is expected to rise. Despite this, and unlike surface waters, groundwater bodies have not been widely studied, and generally there is a paucity of quantitative information on this resource.
• Task 1. In order to address the lack of knowledge on groundwater systems, this Task deals with the quantitative monitoring, the yield and the physical-chemical features of aquifer systems in selected mountain and foothill areas (Apuan Alps-Apennine, Mount Amiata, Piedmont areas). The work is performed in close cooperation with water management agencies and authorities. Conceptual models of the aquifers are defined comparing physical and chemical aspects, and taking also into account water quality issues. Particular attention is devoted to estimate background values for toxic and undesirable compounds. Furthermore, numerical models (empirical and physically-based) are developed and calibrated by using experimental data from monitoring activities. The approach developed and edopted in this work represents a reference strategy for investigating mountain aquifers.
• Task 2. This Task is devoted to analyzing the hydrological cycle in specific sites in the Alps and Apennines, with particular attention to quantify soil-water storage and the occurrence of geo-hydrological events in relation to rainfall regimes.