Gualbert Oude Essink

Expert on groundwater resources in the coastal zone

+31(0)88335 7139 LinkedIn profile

Senior hydrogeologist at Deltares (Unit Subsurface and Groundwater Systems) and associate professor at Utrecht University (Department of Physical Geography); background at three Dutch universities (Delft Uni. Tech., Utrecht Uni, Free Uni. of Amsterdam). Expert on variable-density groundwater and salt transport in coastal groundwater systems (salt water intrusion and fresh groundwater resources under palaeo, anthropogenic, climate change and (extreme) sea level rise conditions) in deltas (NL, VN, EG, BD) and the global coastal zone. Themes: modelling (SEAWAT parallel), Monitoring (Airborne EM, new salinity devices, groundwater flow), Solutions (GO-FRESH: Aquifer Storage and Recovery pilots to improve local freshwater supply; COASTAR: “Brackish is the New Fresh”). Gu gives courses and lectures, teaches at IHE Delft, and supervises MSc students (~8 per yr) and 8 PhDs.

Gualbert participates:
– in research projects on vulnerable fresh groundwater resources in the Netherlands (NatureCoast, ‘De Zandmotor’), Vietnam (FAME Freshwater Availability in the Mekong delta, Vietnam; UDW Rise and Fall), Egypt (Nile Delta, effects GERD and extraction rates on fresh groundwater volumes, NUFFIC), Singapore (Jurong Island) and Bangladesh (SWIBANGLA).He leads a Aquifer Storage & Recovery consortium on promising solutions for local freshwater supply to reduce drought and salinity stresses (
– in several numerical modelling projects on variable-density and coupled salt transport (Dunea brackish groundwater extraction strategies, DOW fresh groundwater strorage, National Hydrological Modelling fresh-salt
–in groundwater salinity mapping programs FRESHEM Zeeland (Helicopter Electromagnetic survey for fresh-salt groundwater distribution) and TOPSOIL FRESHEM Vlaanderen, a INTERREG VB programme.
– the NWO-STW Water Nexus program (Salt water where possible, fresh water where necessary; Resource analysis and regional water management). In the latter project, PhD research is supervised on rapid mapping and rapid modeling deltaic areas, and on operational management of regional salt-fresh water resources.
– in a project on fresh groundwater reserves in 40 major deltas under global and climate change.
– in the program COASTAR: COastal Aquifer STorage and Recovery
– in Europe GEOERA collaboration between European geological surveys (Tools for assessment of climate change impact on groundwater and adaptation strategies)

Google scholar page

Utrecht University page

Working experience

2014-present Utrecht University, The Netherlands Associate Professor: supervising MScs and PhDs, guest lecturing
2007-present Deltares Senior expert in fresh-salt groundwater in the coastal zone, variable density groundwater modeling, aquifer storage and recovery interaction groundwater – surface water
2002-2007 TNO, The Netherlands Groundwater modeling; expert in salt-fresh groundwater interaction
2002-2004 Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands Senior expert, work package leader: EC-project CRYSTECHSALIN (Crystallisation Technologies for Prevention of Salt Water Intrusion)
2001-2002 Freelance Specialist Hydrology Specialist fresh-saline groundwater modelling: case-study of the Water Board Rijnland and the Wieringermeerpolder
1997-2002 University of Utrecht, The Netherlands Assistant Professor Hydrological Transport Processes
1989-1996 Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands PhD-student on 'Impact of sea level rise on groundwater flow regimes. A sensitivity analysis for the Netherlands'