Applied Hydrogeology
"I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it"
Ernest HEMINGWAY, american writer and journalist, 1899-1961.

Groundwater is the largest reservoir of fresh water in the world. Its role in industry, agriculture, and in the water cycle, in particular for the maintenance of wetlands and the flow of surface water is also crucial. The preservation and protection of this resource, both qualitatively and quantitatively, is a necessity for both its use and its environmental value.

Sometimes the intensive exploitation of groundwater and the general degradation of its quality require the implementation of tools for managing the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the aquifers, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD). These tools allow to reproduce and predict the evolution of the spatial and / or temporal surface water and groundwater associated with these aquifers.

With its proven track record of over 10 years in applied hydrogeology and its overall understanding of the nature and behavior of an aquifer and its associated waters, our team of hydrogeologist modelers conceptualizes, calibrates and uses the most appropriate numerical models, all of which are simplified representations of the real system, but characterized by a hydrogeological validity. These models are an effective tool for decision support since multiple alternatives can be considered, and they allow us to contribute to the effective and sustainable management of water resources by offering an adapted solution.

These models have numerous applications, whether for the definition of protection zones around water catchments, for the management of contaminated aquifers or for the risk assessment associated with contaminated sites and soils according to the Walloon soil protection policy ("décret sols "). Indeed, the models are not only reproducing groundwater flow and groundwater-river relationships, but also the transport of pollutants by leaching and / or dispersion.

AQUALE expertise

In order to solve the problems that may be increasingly complex, we provide our specialized international expertise and support you in developing a sustainable management of groundwater through the provision of services:

  • hydrogeological characterization:
    • literature search and reviews
    • drilling, sampling and analyses
    • geophysical services, permeability and tracing tests
  • optimization and implementation of networks of wells and piezometers
  • physico-chemical monitoring of wells and piezometers using, if needed, geostatistics and GIS development
  • numerical modeling of groundwater flow, transport of pollutants, or of the water cycle, with specific objectives such as for instance:
    • the determination of prevention areas of water intakes
    • detailed risk assessment of leaching and dispersion
    • containment optimizing
  • design, installation and monitoring of pilot units
  • the design and project management of hydraulic or geotechnical containment

In support of the public authorities, we actively contribute to the education, training and R & D programs for the implementation of new policies for land management, and in particular agricultural policies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of nitrates and pesticides.

Water catchment protection is also an area in which we continue to provide solutions valued for their high quality standards as well as pragmatism. Indeed, AQUALE can boast a wealth of experience, having been, through its panel of experts, one of the pioneers in Belgium for the combined use of quantitative tracer tests and numerical modeling, with dozens of studies identifying prevention areas.

AQUALE solutions

AQUALE is a key actor that is recognized for the implementation of curative and preventive action plans aimed at the good qualitative and quantitative status of groundwater bodies that are heavily used.

Pragmatically, thanks to the top care and skill brought to the development and operation of our conceptual and numerical models, we bring you the best technical and economic answers to important and diverse questions in relation with applied hydrogeology, such as the impact of new catchment on the water balance, the optimizing of a pumping rate in coastal areas or the spatio-temporal evolution of a pollutant plume.

Both at the technical and relational level, we provide specific assistance to you aimed at the concerted definition and optimization of all effective tools for highly specialized solutions such as:

  • complex systems for the containment of pollutants using treatment techniques such as hydraulic and reactive barriers or geotechnical containment
  • the design of controlled systems for the artificial recharge of surface water or groundwater
  • detailed risk assessment of leaching and dispersion possibly accompanied by a sanitation strategy and a prevention policy
  • sizing of "in situ" remediation or bioremediation techniques
  • consultancy and expertise on risk assessment and risk management associated with pollutants in soil and water bodies for the benefit of private or public stakeholders

In addition, we provide comparative technical and financial design of the various appropriate techniques (BAT) to determine the solution (or combination of solutions) ideally guaranteeing, at the same time, a high level of protection of waters and a rationalization of investment and operating costs.