Gualbert Oude Essink

Expert on groundwater resources in the coastal zone

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Gualbert Oude Essink is expert hydrogeologist at Deltares, Unit Subsurface and Groundwater Systems, and associate professor at Utrecht University. His expertise is groundwater reources in the coastal zones. Gu combines innovative monitoring techniques with state-of-the-art modelling leading to new tools for better assessing fresh groundwater availability. During the past 25 years, he has executed numerous modelling studies on variable-density groundwater flow and solute transport under palaeo, flooding, drought, global & climate change conditions, on different scales and in different areas around the world. He has been involved in European water projects such as Crystechsalin, CliWat, Scaldwin and Climate Proof Areas.

Gu participates in:
– research projects on vulnerable fresh groundwater resources in the Netherlands (NatureCoast, ‘De Zandmotor’), Egypt (Nile Delta), Singapore (Jurong Island), Bangladesh (SWIBANGLA) and Vietnam (UDW Rise and Fall). He leads a Dutch Aquifer Storage & Recovery consortium on promising solutions for local freshwater supply to reduce drought and salinity stresses (
– in the programs FRESHEM Zeeland (Helicopter Electromagnetic survey for fresh-salt groundwater distribution, finished in May 2017) and NWO-STW Water Nexus (project 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 the recently launched (per May 2017) TOPSOIL FRESHEM Vlaanderen, a INTERREG VB programme.
– in a project on fresh groundwater reserves in 40 major deltas under global and climate change since May 2015.

Gu gives international courses and keynote lectures, convenes sessions on congresses, teaches at UNESCO-IHE Delft, publishes in journals and supervises seven PhD-students.


Google scholar page

Utrecht University page

Working experience

2014-present Utrecht University, The Netherlands Supervising PhDs, guest lectures
2007-present Deltares Senior expert in fresh-salt groundwater in the coastal zone, variable density groundwater modeling, 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
1999-present UNESCO-IHE Delft (International Institute for Infrastructural Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering) Lecturer: Density dependent groundwater flow
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'