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Nature based solutions for the recovery of urban aquifers contaminated by nitrate

Grant number: 19/20544-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal Investigator:Ricardo César Aoki Hirata
Grantee:Carlos Henrique Gil Marques
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IGC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/03806-1 - Water availability and quality threats in a Guarani Aquifer System outcrop zone, AP.BIOEN.TEM


Classic solutions, such as the in situ remediations of extensive nitrate contamination in urban aquifers, are inefficient, expensive and with reduced applicability. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are in situ and/or water extraction management technologies that use environmentally sound principles to induce aquifer treatment, reducing costs, and generating less environmental impact. These original solutions will be applied in the urban aquifer of Urânia (SP), located in the domains of the Adamantina Aquifer (Bauru Aquifer System), with high nitrate concentrations (up to 140 mg/L). The contamination is due to the urbanization process, initially using pit latrines and, later, by sewage leaks. The project draws on the data accumulated over the years by CEPAS/USP, although new hydrological and hydrochemical information will also be collected in multilevel wells. With numerical flow (MODFLOW) and transport (MT3DMS) models calibrated, comparisons between urban and rural recharge, obtained from thematic project studies (FAPESP 15/03806-1), will be made. Next, SbN scenarios will be implemented in these models, including phytoremediation and management of aquifer recharge and well pumping. The expected result will be a new proposal of the extensive nitrate contamination management. An evaluation of the economic and practical feasibility of the NbS will allow extending these results to other Brazilian municipalities. (AU)