Fortunately, the early months of 2021 were wet and groundwater levels are rising again. In the future, wet and dry years will continue to alternate so it is essential that we use the available fresh water sparingly. COASTAR is investigating possible ways of using the subsurface to store any surpluses in wet years with the aim of building up reserves for dry years and preventing the salinisation of groundwater at the same time.
COASTAR measures brackish water extraction and the underground storage of fresh water will allow the subsurface to make a substantial contribution to sustainable and robust freshwater supplies in the future. With the potential maps, we have mapped out the opportunities in the subsurface in the Netherlands.
We used the characteristics of the subsurface and included the effects of the measures on the reduction of salinisation, costs and land subsidence. So we now have the results of an initial scan of promising areas and that is a starting point to build on for promising locations.