2.14.1. Characteristics of Groundwater
More than one third of the Spanish national areas contains groundwater aquifers. Groundwater in porous media contains an area of 79,258 km² (16 % of whole country), karst groundwater is spread in an area of 54,628 km² (11 % of the whole country) and other groundwater resources can be found in an area of 38,644 km² (8 % of the whole country). The potential water resources are 340,000 mio. m³/year precipitation minus 277,000 mio. m³/year evapo-transpiration. In households about 43,000 mio. m³/year water is consumed, in industry about 19,000 mio. m³/year. The highest demand for water has the agricultural sector which is about 24,200 mio. m³/year. Nearly a quarter of the water consumed can be gained from groundwater resources.
2.14.2. Structure of the Administrative Organisations Concerning Groundwater Quality
The Spanish monitoring network is called Red general de la calidad y red the intrusion". There are two main organisations involved. Firstly the General Directorate of water quality -Direccion general de calidad de las aguas" which is a department of the Ministry for Public Works, Transport and Environment. It is working in the fields of monitoring and monitoring-administration activities. Secondly, the Institute of Geomining Technology of Spain -ITGE" which depends on the Ministry of Industry and Energy. It carries out network design, data collection, chemical analyses, storage and management of database and the reporting.
The Spanish monitoring is an instrument that helps to collect basic data for the National Groundwater Research Plan". Reports on the data are worked out by the ITGE and delivered to public authorities. The extent of this network is national. Additionally, there are two other networks in Spain. A network called General groundwater quality network" for general purposes and the Sea Water Intrusion Quality Network" for the study of pollution problems in coastal areas. Data collected have a quality control. Quality assurance procedures are carried out such as general supervision from project managers, syntax checking and depuration from database managers and checking analyses.
2.14.3. Monitoring of Groundwater Quality
The Spanish groundwater quality network PNGC (Plan Nacional de gestion y conservation de aquiferos) was established to study the general groundwater quality and sea water intrusion within the research programme of the groundwater general studies plan named Groundwater Investigation National Plan" (basic network for general purpose). Responsibilities within this network are shared between the General Directorate of water quality -Direccion General de Calidad de las Aguas" and the Institute of Geomining Technology of Spain -ITGE". The general directorate co-ordinates the programme and reports with the assistance of the ITGE, which is also busy in the fields of local sampling, database management and chemical analyses. The observation points are distributed evenly in the groundwater regions. In porous media 1,147 sampling sites are in operation, in karst media 408 and in isolated groundwater regions 1,377. In every region sampling sites are mostly baseline stations and control stations for sea water intrusion. Data collected are analysed by the ITGE. Within the whole network there are obligations to use comparable standardised methods for analytical methods. The ITGE laboratory has its own standardised regulation for precision and accuracy.
The network has been in operation since 1967 and has an average record length of 10 years. The database is managed by the ITGE. This database includes complete information about different groundwater parameters at control points. Computerised data have been available since 1971. Data are available on floppy disks, paper sheets and reports. Data are not free of charge, but accessible without restrictions. The reports worked out by ITGE vary as to their frequency.
2.14.4. Structure of the Administrative Organisations Concerning Groundwater Quantity
The national groundwater monitoring network is called Red de Control Piezometrico y Red de Hidrometria". The administrative responsibilities for the monitoring are carried out by the General Directorate of Hydraulic Works - Direccion General de Obras Hidraulicas" of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment. The ITGE - Institute for Geomining Technology of Spain, which depends on the Ministry of Industry and Energy, works in the fields of data collection, database management, data storage and reporting. Monitoring activities have the main purpose to gain data for the National Groundwater Research Plan. Reports on groundwater data are written by the ITGE and distributed to public authorities.
Other networks for groundwater quantity data collection are the General Groundwater Waterlevel Network" for general purposes and the Groundwater Hydrometry Network" for pollution problems in coastal areas. Guaranteed procedures for data collected have been carried out : e.g. general supervision from project managers, syntax checking and depuration from database managers, different filters and comparisons such as temporal evolution and spatial distribution of water levels. The database is an ORACLE database, the hardware is Hewlett Packard 9000 and 700 series. Operating systems used is UNIX. The network used is Ethernet with protocol TCP/IP. Language and software, reporting tools used: SQL, SQL forms, SQL-RW; ORACLE DATABROWSER; specific tools are: net software: LAN MANAGER-and APRA SERVICES. Computerised data have been available since 1971. Data are laid down on floppy disks, paper sheets and reports. Data are available without restriction, but a fee has to be paid. ITGE publishes reports with variable frequency for the general public.
2.14.5. Monitoring of Groundwater Quantity
The PNGC (Plan Nacional de Gestion y Conservacion de Acuiferos) is the Spanish national groundwater quantity network. The monitoring aims at obtaining and studying the general movement of groundwater and the aquifer response to pumping, as part of the National Groundwater Research Plan (basic network for general purpose). The general directorate and the ITGE are both responsible for programme co-ordination and reporting, whereas the ITGE is the only responsible for local sampling, chemical analyses and database management. The sampling sites are distributed evenly within the groundwater regions, 2,726 sites in porous media, 1,411 in karst area and 2,439 sites in isolated control points. The main type are bored wells (3,564) followed by dug wells (1,901) other wells (1,089) and 385 spring wells. They mainly record water level and discharge. Special programmes have different sampling frequencies (between 1-5, all series and basic programmes from 2-6 times a year). Observation is standardised: At the beginning of the programme 4-6 times per year at each control point, currently 2-6 times per year using electrical sounding.
The earliest record was taken in 1967; it has an average length of 10 years. The database managed by the ITGE includes a complete information about water observation points. Static information and variable information include water levels.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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