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Catchment-scale vulnerability assessment of groundwater pollution from diffuse sources using the DRASTIC method: a case study

Yang, Yuesuo and Wang, L. 2010. Catchment-scale vulnerability assessment of groundwater pollution from diffuse sources using the DRASTIC method: a case study. Hydrological Sciences Journal 55 (7) , pp. 1206-1216. 10.1080/02626667.2010.508872

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The catchment-scale groundwater vulnerability assessment that delineates zones representing different levels of groundwater susceptibility to contaminants from diffuse agricultural sources has become an important element in groundwater pollution prevention for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). This paper evaluates the DRASTIC method using an ArcGIS platform for assessing groundwater vulnerability in the Upper Bann catchment, Northern Ireland. Groundwater vulnerability maps of both general pollutants and pesticides in the study area were generated by using data on the factors depth to water, net recharge, aquifer media, soil media, topography, impact of vadose zone, and hydraulic conductivity, as defined in DRASTIC. The mountain areas in the study area have “high” (in 4.5% of the study area) or “moderate” (in 25.5%) vulnerability for general pollutants due to high rainfall, net recharge and soil permeability. However, by considering the diffuse agricultural sources, the mountain areas are actually at low groundwater pollution risk. The results of overlaying the maps of land use and the groundwater vulnerability are closer to the reality. This study shows that the DRASTIC method is helpful for guiding the prevention practices of groundwater pollution at the catchment scale in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QE Geology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: groundwater vulnerability, agricultural diffuse groundwater pollution, DRASTIC, GIS modelling, EU Water Framework Directive
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0262-6667
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:16

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