FI-1 :: Assessing the impacts of different land uses and climate change on the quality and quantity of surface waters and groundwaters

The allocation of different land uses and vegetation on different kinds of soils has a crucial impact on the quality of runoff waters and groundwater. Finnish aquifers are small, shallow and scattered formations. Because of glaciofluvial origin their permeability is also quite high so they are very sensitive to contamination. The nutrient runoff from fields depends on where the fields are located and the ways in which they are farmed. Vegetation can be used to infiltrate waters, but it may act as a source of natural runoff of nutrients in the autumn. Most discharges of nutrients and impurities often originate from a rather small part of the total area. Acid sulphate soils in Baltic Sea coastal areas are particularly sensitive to land use changes and infrastructure developments that can cause considerable leaching of metals in those areas. More knowledge is needed on what the exact effects of specific land uses are, how they may change due to climate change and through what means harmful effects can be minimised.
Possible research questions may be:
Net impacts
• How to identify the short and long term impacts of certain land use changes on the quality, quantity and temperature of surface and groundwater?
• How to identify the impacts of storm water drainage on waters?
• How to observe land use impacts on water ecosystems and groundwater depending ecosystems?
• How do different land use policies, such as agricultural policy and city planning policy, contribute to the environmental impacts of land use?
Land management
• How to detect the most effective ways to improve water quality e.g. through modelling and systemic approaches?