Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-64
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-64

  29 Mar 2021

29 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Spatiotemporal development of the 2018–2019 groundwater drought in the Netherlands: a data-based approach

Esther Brakkee1, Marjolein van Huijgevoort1, and Ruud P. Bartholomeus1,2 Esther Brakkee et al.
  • 1KWR Water Research Institute, Nieuwegein, 3433 PE, the Netherlands
  • 2Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Abstract. The 2018–2019 drought in northwestern Europe caused severe damage to a wide range of sectors, and has made clear that even in temperate-climate countries adaptations are needed to cope with increasing future drought frequencies. A crucial component of drought management strategies is to monitor the status of groundwater resources. However, providing up-to-date assessments of regional groundwater drought development remains challenging due to the limited quality of available data. This limits many studies to small selections of groundwater monitoring sites, giving an incomplete image of drought dynamics. In this study, a time series modelling-based method for data preparation was developed and applied to map the spatiotemporal development of the 2018–2019 groundwater drought in the southeastern Netherlands, based on a large set of monitoring data. The data preparation method was evaluated for its usefulness and reliability for groundwater drought quantification and prediction. The analysis showed that the 2018–2019 meteorological drought caused extreme groundwater drought throughout the southeastern Netherlands, breaking 30-year records almost everywhere. Drought onset and duration were strongly variable in space, with especially higher elevated areas remaining in severe drought well into 2020. Groundwater drought development appeared to be governed dominantly by the spatial distribution of rainfall and the geological-topographic setting. The time series modelling-based data preparation method was found a useful tool to enable a detailed, consistent record of regional groundwater drought development. Applying a validation step before analysis turned out to be important for good results. The time series simulations were generally found to be reliable; however, the use of time series simulations rather than direct measurement series can bias drought estimations especially at a local scale, and underestimate spatial variability. Finally, time series modelling showed to be a promising tool for regional-scale drought nowcasting and prediction. Further development of time-series based validation and simulation methods, combined with accessible and consistent monitoring data, will be valuable to enable better groundwater drought monitoring in the future.

Esther Brakkee et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-64', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply to all reviewers', Esther Brakkee, 22 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-64', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply to all reviewers', Esther Brakkee, 22 Jun 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-64', Anonymous Referee #3, 07 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply to all reviewers', Esther Brakkee, 22 Jun 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-64', Raoul Collenteur, 19 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply to all reviewers', Esther Brakkee, 22 Jun 2021

Esther Brakkee et al.

Esther Brakkee et al.

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Short summary
Periods of drought often lead to groundwater shortages in large regions, which cause damage to nature and the economy. To take measures, we need a good understanding of where and when groundwater shortage occurs. In this study we have tested a method that can combine large amounts of groundwater measurements in an automated way, to provide detailed maps of how groundwater shortages develop during a drought period. This information can help water managers to limit future groundwater shortages.