deposits (shallow aquifer), has groundwater level measurements from 1926 until 2000 every three days (Italian Hydrographic Survey 1948-1999). As regards groundwater discharge, the springs of the Matese mountains in the northern part of Campania and the springs of Mt Terminio, with more than 1 m3/s of discharge, have extensive records on a monthly basis.
In Campania in the last 10-20 years a sharp reduction in the discharge of many important springs at the foot of carbonate aquifers has been recorded, sometimes up to 50% of the previous discharge (Celico et al. 2004b). Moreover, in the coastal plains, bordered by carbonate massifs and hydraulically connected to them, during the last 15 years the fall in the piezometric level of the aquifers has been, at some points, as much as 6 m.
Such decreases should not be solely attributed to the recharge decrease, but also clearly depend on human activities and consequently on the increase in exploitation. Indeed, the increase in groundwater tapping may depend on a series of factors, such as the increase in population, the industrialization of the area, and changes in land use, but also on the increase in water demand due to the drier climate.
Hence in this research, piezometric and discharge data, although extensively available, were not used. Indeed, the link between recharge decrease and exploitation increase makes it impossible to establish a clear relationship between the
Fig. 12. Difference in mean annual recharge (in mm/a) between the years 1951-1980 and 1981-1999.
variations in piezometric and discharge data and the changes in precipitation/recharge.
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