Current hydrogeological situation in the country

sytuacja hydrogeologiczna

In Poland, the institution responsible for controlling what the hydrogeological situation is like is the State Hydrogeological Service(PSH). One of its primary tasks is to regularly prepare forecasts and announcements related to the occurrence and prediction of hydrogeological lows in the country.

Observation of groundwater resources, in the face of the growing problem of drought and lack of precipitation, becomes extremely important. It is through it that we can identify areas where there is the greatest risk of water shortage and which require urgent remedial action, such as controlling the amount of water withdrawn or reducing inefficient use.

Hydrogeological low

The phenomenon of hydrogeological lows occurs when the declining groundwater table exceeds low warning levels. This means that in the aquifers, as a result of limited rainfall recharge, the water saturation zone decreases.

The most sensitive to atmospheric changes and drought are the waters occurring at a depth of several to several meters below the land surface, i.e. the first aquifer with a free table. It is fed directly by infiltration of precipitation. Water supply from shallow, individual farm intakes and municipal intakes that exploit the first aquifer may be hampered in areas affected by the low.

Current hydrogeological situation – message

On June 15 this year. PSH has published a communiqué describing what the hydrogeological situation was like in May 2023. It contains information on the location of the groundwater table, the status of reserves of groundwater variable resources, and the status of hydrogeological hazards.

Changes in the location of the groundwater table in the first aquifer with a free table

The hydrogeological situation in Poland may cause concern.

The analysis of changes in the position of the groundwater table in the first free-flowing aquifer was carried out on the basis of measurements at 188 points of the groundwater observation and research network.

In May this year. A reduction in the average water level was observed in most of them. About 69% of the observation points recorded lower levels compared to the previous month, with an average change of about 33%.

The decrease in the average groundwater level did not exceed 25 cm, and at most points it was above the low warning limit.

There were also places where an increase in the average groundwater level was recorded. That’s more than 28% of the points, mostly in the south, center and northeast of the country.

More than 3% of the points saw no change compared to April this year.

Changes in groundwater resources

The analysis of the status of groundwater variable resource reserves, based on measurements of the position of the water table, was carried out at 159 observation and research points.

In May this year. Most of them indicated a safe level of reserves in the first aquifer. Approximately 95% of the analyzed points had average groundwater levels within non-hazardous limits, down slightly from the previous month (by about 1%).

A small percentage of points (more than 5%) were below the groundwater use risk limit.

Half of the surveyed points reported a lack of variable resource reserves, which meant a threat to groundwater use. The localities in which shortages of reserves have been reported are: Maszewko and Miechucino (Pomeranian Voivodeship), Kobułty (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship) and Chartow (Lubuskie Voivodeship). In these places, the hydrogeological situation is difficult.

Occurrence of threats to groundwater

The analysis of the state of hydrogeological low risk in the country’s territory was carried out on the basis of measurements at 159 groundwater observation and research points.

In May, the threat level of hydrogeological lows remained at a similar level as in April this year. Areas of the eastern part of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship and the western and central parts of the Pomeranian Voivodeship continued to be affected by the regional low.

Local reductions in the average groundwater level, below the low warning limit, were also observed in other provinces, such as Lubuskie, Wielkopolskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Dolnośląskie and Śląskie.

Nationally, groundwater levels below low warning occurred at 16 observation points, accounting for more than 10% of the surveyed group, 1% less than in the previous month.

At 17 observation points (about 11%), the average level of the groundwater table remained in the zone between the boundaries of warning and dangerous levels, which means the possibility of a hydrogeological low in the event of unfavorable meteorological conditions, especially in the absence of precipitation.

For 126 observation points (more than 79% of all controlled points), the free groundwater table remained in a safe zone above the average value of the lowest annual groundwater levels.

We don’t have much influence over the distribution and amount of precipitation, but controlling and analyzing how the hydrogeological situation is shaping up allows us to take preventive steps before the groundwater table level becomes too low.


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