Groundwater Protection & Management
Monitoring and protecting groundwater from potential pollution is one of the major challenges in agriculture, landfills, mines and other water related activities.
Access to real-time data on the percolating water throughout the vadose zone, is a basic requirement for effective water resource management. Continuous monitoring and protecting of groundwater from potential pollution, needs to include vadose-zone monitoring technologies, in order to detect contaminants before they reach the aquifer.
Sensoil’s Vadose-zone Monitoring System™ (VMS) provides real-time, continuous tracking of water percolation and contaminant transport across the entire unsaturated zone, from land surface to groundwater.
The Challenge of Groundwater Protection
Aquifer and water resource quality is dramatically declining around the world. Imbalanced application of agricultural fertilisers and pesticides is one of the primary causes of groundwater pollution. In order to exploit arable land and produce maximum crop yields, higher quantities of water and fertilisers are being used.
Water resource quality and availability is dictated by the water infiltration from the topsoil through the unsaturated zone down to groundwater (aquifers). Contaminants that migrate vertically with the percolating water through the unsaturated zone down to the water table, lead to groundwater pollution.
Most current groundwater protection monitoring programs are based on observation wells that sample groundwater. However, identification of pollution in well-water is clear evidence that the contaminants have already crossed the unsaturated zone and accumulated in groundwater. At this point, very little can be done to fully remediate contaminated aquifers.
The Groundwater Protection Solution
Vadose Zone Monitoring System™ (VMS)
Sensoil’s patented Vadose-zone Monitoring System™ (VMS) constantly monitors the unsaturated zone from land surface to groundwater. The VMS provides real time information on pollution processes taking place in the unsaturated zone, long before they accumulate in the aquifer.
Equipped with advanced sensors and pore-water sampling units, VMS enables the retrieval of accurate, relevant information on water percolation and contaminate transport, as well as gas and pore-water sampling. Monitoring real-time migration of contaminants provides critical, accessible information on the hydrological and chemical conditions in the vadose zone. Data and analyses obtained via the VMS, enables direct assessment of water percolation velocities and contamination migration fluxes in the subsurface.
The data, together with relevant alerts, are sent to selected stakeholders or regulatory authorities. Groundwater protection can be achieved, based on the VMS. Taking prompt decisions and measures to manage, slow and stop the contamination process, minimise damage to the aquifer, and provide crucial data for sustainable agriculture.
The proven VMS system is reliable, efficient and cost-effective. It provides “early warning” for potential groundwater contamination, long before contaminants reach the water table.
Supporting International Water Policies
OECD publications clearly state that water policies in agriculture need to respond to new water risks and ensure that agriculture production is sustainable. Similarly, the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Action Plan 2017, states: “We will protect water and water-related ecosystems by encouraging water-friendly, sustainable agricultural practices and technologies that enhance the water quality and resilience of water bodies”.
Sensoil’s VMS provides accurate data that meets the needs and requirements for prevention of water resources pollution from agricultural sources. Sensoil’s technology provides a comprehensive tool for monitoring and evaluating agriculture’s environmental performance that will help guide future policy choices.
Deployed in countries around the globe, Sensoil’s Vadose-zone Monitoring System is recognised as a crucial “early-warning” tool, and is recommended by government organisations. The patented real-time monitoring system is also deployed in various academic research projects.
In a letter from the CEO of an EU country’s Energy & Water Agency, he states in reference to VMS:
“…such info will guide the development & implementation of preventive measures under the Nitrate Action Programme within the implementation framework of the EU’s Nitrate Directive.”