The attendees of the groundwater-workshops at GEOMAR. Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR

The attendees of the groundwater-workshop at GEOMAR. Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR

A waveglider off the coast of Oman. GEOMAR is already investigating groundwater discharges off the coast in cooperation with the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Omani Institute for Advanced Technology Integration (IATI). Photo: Warner Brückmann/GEOMAR

A waveglider off the coast of Oman. GEOMAR is already investigating groundwater discharges off the coast in cooperation with the Environmental Research Centre (UFZ) and the Omani Institute for Advanced Technology Integration (IATI). Photo: Warner Brückmann/GEOMAR

18.06.2019

New approaches to explore submarine groundwater reservoirs

Workshop at GEOMAR discusses opportunities and risks of newly discovered fresh water resources

18 June 2019/Kiel. Today, more than 20 scientists from all over Germany met at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel to discuss the research needed for the exploration of submarine groundwater resources. Water is becoming increasingly scarce as the world's population grows. This makes the discovery of are huge freshwater reservoirs below the seafloor all the more important, for example off Cape Town, which was almost completely cut off from the fresh water supply in spring 2018 due to a drought.
As a result of the global shortage of water, it is to be expected that many coastal states will now begin to use the water reserves under the sea. To ensure that these resources are not consumed immediately and are still available to future generations, it is important to find out how quickly water resources regenerate in rainy seasons. It must also be clarified to what extent the extraction of submarine groundwater impairs groundwater resources on land.
All these questions require new technologies and new scientific approaches, which must be developed within the framework of future research projects. During the one-day workshop at GEOMAR, a strategy was developed on how German environmental research can contribute to this.