Concluding remarks

In Campania in the last 20 years, the precipitation distribution shows reduction in rainfall, and a mean regional temperature increase (0.2-0.5°C). The rise in temperature and decrease in precipitation have had a sequence of direct effects on the hydrological cycle, with particular regard to the evapotranspiration rate, soil moisture, surface runoff, and finally groundwater recharge.

In recalculating the water budgets in a GIS environment for the hydrogeological structures of the region with these climatic parameters, the average infiltration decreases by up to 30%. The average infiltration rate measured at the end of the 1980s was about 3850 Mm3/a, while the average for the last 20 years is 2700Mm3/a, with a difference of about 37 m3/s.

If this trend continues, it can be expected that in the next 50 years groundwater resources will decrease by about 70% and groundwater management in Campania will need to be reviewed. The water demand is currently about 1000 Mm3/a. By 2050, under the previously described groundwater scenario, between 6 million (population of Campania) and 9 million people (combined populations of Campania and Puglia, now supplied by groundwater from Campania) will face a crisis.

The forecasts for the decrease in groundwater resources, albeit evaluated empirically (in future it would be wiser to model the hydrological budget in a more rigorous way), give an idea about the future scenario. It is essential to ascertain future groundwater resource availability since knowledge of water resources is a precondition for effective water management, in terms of both a reduction in water consumption and the search for alternative water supplies.

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