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Title: Assessing the impact of pollution generating activities on groundwater in Malta : the Aquifer Stress Approach
Author: Micallef, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 4368
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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The main objective of this research is to establish a user-friendly, tailor-made model by which legal and environmental policies on Groundwater Protection can be formulated. The intention is that this approach will be integrated within the National Water Policy as directed by European Union Directive on the protection of groundwater against pollution, with specific focus on the Island of Malta. The first chapter presents the research hypothesis and main objectives. It also outlines the evolution of groundwater exploitation and the importance of groundwater as a source of water production in Malta. In Chapter 2, an overview on the origins of and the reasons behind groundwater pollution in Malta is presented. Chapter 3 presents the various arguments which justify the need to effect a change in concept. In Chapter 4, analyses of the various Decision Support Systems currently being used in Groundwater Pollution Assessments is given. Chapter 5 presents the formulation of the proposed Aquifer Stress Approach (ASA) model. A thorough explanation of the methodology adopted to obtain the public attitudes towards groundwater protection issues is presented in Chapter 6 whilst in Chapter 7; the ASA model is applied to real life case studies. In the final Chapter, conclusions and recommendations are provided. The new approach involves parameters such as pollutant transport in the unsaturated zone defined by the Aquifer Vulnerability Index (AVI) as well as that in the saturated zone using the Residual Pollutant Index Module. Other parameters include development indices reflecting also people's awareness towards various man-made activities, obtained by a perception survey, and the quantitative effect of contamination generated by developments on groundwater storage. Conclusions, recommendations and ideas for future studies are included in the last chapter. The main conclusion of the research is that, notwithstanding the various socio-political, cultural and economic issues, an acceptable solution is possible and takes the form of a simple, rational methodology which integrates technical analysis with some established approaches. Integrating within a Legal Framework to cover all activities is seen as a better, more sustainable solution to redress present trends and reverse the general pollution levels in groundwater on Malta.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral