GIS Vulnerability Maps
Topic of the practice
Vulnerability maps for groundwater protection and pollution prevention
Good Practice Information
The practice on geographical information system (GIS) vulnerability maps took place in the frame of the INTERREG III B ARCHIMED project “WATER-MAP-Development and utilization of vulnerability maps for the monitoring and management of groundwater resources in the Archimed area". GIS-Vulnerability maps were developed using the DRASTIC method and data from hydrochemical analyses (NO3) of groundwater samples.
Vulnerability maps inform about the need of groundwater protection and pollution prevention. The maps help to determine areas that may have groundwater vulnerability problems and what types of site-specific data or studies may be needed. Hazard assessment is used to define potential hazards caused by human activities and can potentially have an impact on groundwater. Risk assessment is defined as a combination of hazard and vulnerability.
Overlaying vulnerability maps, with maps showing the location of pollution sources or polluting land use activities, produces pollution risk maps. The implementation of GIS vulnerability maps is not a high-financial demanding procedure and their use can contribute to a better understanding for all policy-makers of the hazards caused by human activities that potentially could have an impact on groundwater. It should be pointed out that, the vulnerability methods must not replace field studies.The maps could be used as a general guide both for technicians and administrators.
Evidence of success
Benefits of the development and application of a methodology for creating GIS vulnerability maps were:
-Better overview of the water protection needs
-Development of a Decision Support System (DSS) with information on land uses, populations etc depending on vulnerability maps.
-Determination of water vulnerability caused by agricultural activities in the Region of Western Macedonia is currently working on water and nitrogen management in agriculture in order to assess water and nitrogen losses due to percolation and run-off.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Region of Western Macedonia
Annex completed on: 05-03-2011