Motivation

Timo Kessler, PhD

hydrogeologist, geologist, environmentalist, engineer

In my view, water is the most valuable and essential resource and we need to find sustainable ways to use, protect, recycle and preserve it. An integrated and interdisciplinary approach looking at the various aspects, surroundings and risks for water resources ensures good water management. In this regard, accessibility of water sources, preservation of aquifers and local-scale implementation of production and treatment technologies are the main objectives for my work.

Some of the aspects and disciplines I was working with are briefly outlined and explained below.

PortraitImage Hydrogeology deals with groundwater and the flow of water in the subsurface. Information is gained from well drilling, soil analysis, geophysical measurements and tracer testing to determine the hydraulic conductivity. Hydrogeologists also try to quantify interaction between groundwater and surface water.
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Groundwater flow and recharge depends strongly on the geology and related heterogeneity. In the Northern hemisphere glaciers deposited most of the surficial sediments. To model underground water flow or contaminant transport it is crucial to understand glacier dynamics including deposition and deformation processes.
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Hydrologists measure water flows and calculate water balances for catchments or river systems. They require precipitation and climate data, land-use maps, vegetation coverage and runoff estimates. Such information can be aquired from remotely sensed databases or must be collected manually with gauging stations.
PortraitImage Exploitation of water resources is often linked to ecological problems. For example, the depletion of a near-surface alluvial aquifer can lead to destruction of sensitive desert vegetation. For water extraction it is necessary to follow an integrated approach and to consider potential negative environmental impacts.
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In many areas of the world, water resources are not accessible or even polluted by human activities. Technical solutions are used to produce and distribute drinking water and can even help to preserve existing resources.