Groundwater Vulnerability and Pollution Risk Assessment, Andrzej J. Witkowski,Sabina Jakóbczyk-Karpierz,Joanna Czekaj,Dorota Grabala, Editör, CRC, New York , Leiden, ss.55-68, 2020
The assessment of the vulnerability of groundwater to contamination has been widely discussed.
We continue to observe the intensive development of various methods of vulnerability
assessment, both intrinsic and specific (e.g. in terms of pollution by nitrate, pesticides,
petroleum substances, sulphates, pharmaceuticals, etc.). Often, issues of specific vulnerability
assessment are a fundamental component of every day risk assessment. In this context,
the classic term groundwater vulnerability related to groundwater vulnerability to pollution
has been significantly extended to cover a number of new aspects related to current geogenic
threats stimulated by climate change (e.g. sea water intrusion) as well as new threats resulting
from the human activity (problems with so-called emerging contaminants, groundwater
intensive drainage, different current and past mining activity, construction activities).
Various modifications of ranking are used successfully in many countries. DRASTIC
remains the most popular among the ranking methods for groundwater vulnerability assessment.
This method aspires to be the universal method, however, this is not always the case,
and it became the basis for the development of new techniques for porous and karst aquifers
and for various purposes (regional and local studies) at various scales. Increasingly, the
vulnerability assessment takes into account not only simple methods (advection models)
determining the travel time of potential contaminants from the ground surface to groundwater,
but also more complex models that take into account the role of physical and biological
processes in contaminant transport and its attenuation. Unfortunately, there is still
controversy about the very concept of vulnerability. Often, authors do not state explicitly
whether the vulnerability assessment concerns groundwater resources (aquifer vulnerability)
or groundwater sources (for instance well fields). This is important from the point of view of
the practical application of vulnerability maps to delineation of aquifer protection zones or
wellhead protection zones. These issues have been widely discussed at three international
IAH conferences held in Poland in Ustroń spa (in 2004, 2015 and 2018), each devoted to
An important effect of these conferences was the publication of two volumes of IAH
Selected Papers. The first Volume 11 Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping
was published in 2007. This volume contains papers presented at the conference held in 2004
in Ustroń. Unfortunately, after the conference in 2015, despite many abstracts and numerous
interesting presentations sent, the organizers did not receive enough full papers to publish
the next volume of IAH Selected Papers. Therefore the papers in the new volume (Vol.24)
entitled Groundwater Vulnerability and Pollution Risk Assessment were selected from those
presented at the last two IAH conferences which was held in 2015 (Groundwater Vulnerability
– From Scientific Concept to Practical Application) and in 2018 (New Approaches to Groundwater Vulnerability). Both conferences were organised by the University of Silesia,
IAH, Association of Polish Hydrogeologists and UNESCO IHP.
This volume contains 15 chapters presented at both conferences and has been divided
into four main parts: New approaches to groundwater vulnerability (Chapter 1–4), Factors
affecting vulnerability assessment – from scientific concept to practical application (Chapter
5–8), Comparison and validation of different methods of groundwater vulnerability
assessment for different groundwater systems (Chapter 9–11), Groundwater vulnerability
mapping – examples of different national approaches (Chapter 12–15).
The Editors would like to express sincere thanks to Nick Robins (Editor-in-Chief IAH
Book Series) and Janjaap Blom (Senior Publisher at Taylor & Francis) for excellent cooperation,
understanding and kind help in publishing both volumes.
The Editors would like to express particularly warm acknowledgments to the authors
for their contributions as well as for their patience and understanding with regard to publication.
We also would like to thank scientific reviewers for their careful reviews and for their
efforts in the linguistic correction of some manuscripts.
The Editors would like to address special thanks to UNESCO International Hydrological
Program and personally to Dr. Alice Aureli for financial support. This support made it
possible for scientists from developing countries to participate in the conference and present
their papers. Without this help, a number of papers contained in this volume could not be