19 June 2019

Hydrologist Niko Wanders on the turbulent rainfall of this week:

'Nature doesn't need surface water, but groundwater'

This week, hydrologist and UYA member Niko Wanders appeared in the media several times to discuss the problems of drought and the declining level of underground water. 

Despite the heavy rainfall this week, the shortage of underground water caused by last summer has not been restored yet. "The problem is mainly in the ground," Wanders says to Trouw, "The level of groundwater is too low, and nowhere close to being filled up." This is due to the major part of rainfall directly flowing into sewers and rivers. Due to the dryness of the ground, water will be washed off instead of retained by the ground. Only the prolonged rain in autumn can help the level of groundwater catch up, according to Wanders in RTV Utrecht

Drought along the Rhine

Solutions

In the Podcast of BNR Nieuwsradio, Wanders states there is a lack of sustainable solutions. Artificially increasing groundwater level is too slow of a process, and households collecting rainwater for private use is not cost-effective. Potential solutions are building small dams in rivers and digging big puts that can prevent the water from washing off. According to Wanders, the final decline in ground water will depend on the policy put into practice.