For subsurface opportunities such as groundwater and geothermal energy to be realised and utilised to greatest effect to support growing city populations and infrastructure, city planners must be both aware of, and have some understanding of the resources, available data and research, and both the opportunities and risks which the resources provide to city development [6,7]. To supply this understanding to city municipalities and others, geological surveys must have robust datasets of groundwater and geothermal resources at city-scale, and the relevant knowledge and understanding from these data must be made accessible to inform subsurface planning in appropriate datasets relevant to different scale of interest in different planning stages. What density and frequency of data are required for a robust understanding of a city’s groundwater and geothermal resources will be different in different cities, according to the complexity of the resources, and the intensity of subsurface use and demands on the resources. Indeed, no one design of city-scale monitoring or modelling of ground-water and -heat resources is appropriate for all cities, or for all monitoring objectives. However, the guiding principles of good practice for developing robust city-scale monitoring, and datasets are widely applicable, as are the key principles for ensuring these data inform city planning processes.
This report provides an initial review of existing examples of current practices in Europe with respect to groundwater and geothermal monitoring and modelling, as a resource for other cities to learn from and build upon. The report also provides an overview of some of the different practices used for communicating groundwater and geothermal energy data and knowledge to inform urban planning and management.
Section 1 of the report provides an evaluation of different good practices for generating appropriate city-scale groundwater datasets and monitoring. Section 2 reviews the different good practices for the use, regulation, monitoring and management of shallow geothermal energy in cities. Section 3 provides an evaluation of different good practices for modelling groundwater and shallow geothermal resources in cities of high and low data availability. Finally, section 4 provides a discussion as to why integration of groundwater and geothermal data into subsurface planning is still a missing link in good practices within many cities. The review provides city examples, which illustrate the guiding principles, or key points, of the different good practices discussed. The review is not aimed to be a comprehensive review of all the good practices which exist across Europe – this is far beyond the scope and resources of the review. The review instead forms an informed starting point for subsurface specialists and city municipalities wanting to learn about good practices related to groundwater and shallow geothermal data and knowledge. The Sub-Urban COST Action toolbox will provide further guidance and examples when released in 2017.
The EU COST Sub-Urban project is undertaking a review of the drivers for city-scale groundwater monitoring in urban areas; the level of urban groundwater monitoring already existing in European cities; and the amount of historical groundwater monitoring data available in cities. The following questionnaire is designed to help inform the COST working group of urban groundwater monitoring across a wide range of European cities.
Helen Bonsor (BGS) has given an interview explaining why groundwater is important for the subsurface i cities.
LEADER WG 2.4
British Geological Survey (BGS)