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

By Y.S. Yang and L. Wang

Abstract

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

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1080/02626667.2010.508872
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12500

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