Research and training for sustainable management of water resources.

Groundwater and inland waters provide the resource for homes, industry and agriculture. The hydrogeology and limnology sector of the Institute of Earth Sciences (IST) has many years of experience in providing consulting services in the field of protection and management of water resources. It is also active in monitoring and develops research projects at national and international levels, aimed at increasing the technical knowledge in support of its sustainable use.

Monitoring and protection of water resources

The subdivision controls and monitors the water quality of Lake Lugano and its arms as part of the International Commission for the protection of the Italic-Swiss waters and also the piezometric levels in the major aquifers of the Canton Ticino, permitting to follow the evolution the state of resources. It consults the cantonal administration to enforce the water protection law, the water protection Ordinance and the law for the protection of the environment.

Research and Development Corporation

The subdivision collaborates with national and international universities, governments and privates companies to realize research projects directed to protect the environment and its resources. The research topics include the integrated application of isotopes and other geophysical techniques to study the hydrological cycle in mountainous areas, mapping the vulnerability of groundwater in karst regions of the Caribbean and biogeochemical fluxes of greenhouse gases in lake environments and use planning of water resources in areas of extreme aridity. The counties in which we work are: Chad, Indonesia, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Cuba.

Mathematical Model

Sustainable use of water resources requires accurate knowledge of sources like aquifers, lakes and rivers. To predict how they will react to natural (rainfall, temperature, evapotranspiration) or anthropogenic (pumping, samples) events is fundamental to manage carefully water resources. The group, is active in the application of mathematical models that allow to model the behavior of natural systems and to develop future scenarios.

Mapping Vulnerability

The vulnerability of groundwater is a property that indicates its sensitivity to natural and anthropic impacts. The evaluation of the vulnerability of water resources especially in karst areas is an essential part for the maintenance of long-term quality. Through vulnerability assessments, planners can manage the land, taking into account the presence of underground water resources, preventing conflicts with potentially harmful activities.