Coastal aquifers - saline groundwater

Coastal aquifers

The concentration of populations and economic activities on and near the coast has had serious environmental consequences. Urban systems have drastically altered the flows of water, energy, and materials, transforming the pre-existing ecosystems. Coastal regions are not an exception, as groundwater is extensively pumped and used to meet various requirements. Coastal groundwater resources are threatened due to overexploitation. As the groundwater-bearing formations are hydraulically connected to the sea, over-pumping results to the entry of seawater into freshwater aquifers. Thus, seawater intrusion into the aquifer is inevitable when there is overextraction of groundwater. Further land-use changes due to urbanization lead to a reduction in rainfall recharge. 

 Saline water interference is the main issue in coastal areas due to over-extraction of groundwater and the heavy demand of water for various domestic, irrigation, industrial purposes, and rainfall recharge less that the groundwater abstraction are the main causes of the decrease in groundwater level in coastal aquifer.

Proper and efficient management of coastal groundwater resources is essential and is an integral part of coastal zone management. Adaptive management especially fits into the context of coastal aquifers as seawater intrusion processes are slow and hard to forecast and affect many components in the coastal regions.