On every diagram of a water cycle, interactions between groundwater and surface water reservoirs feature prominently. But just how much do we know about these interactions, and how do we consider them in natural resource management in the Mediterranean region today? The ‘footprint’ of hidden subsurface flow of groundwater on hydrology, productivity or contamination of aquatic and coastal ecosystems remains a major knowledge gap in environmental science to date, in particular in the Mediterranean region where the seasonally dry climate exerts significant pressures on water resources. Research to address this knowledge gap will require an integrated interdisciplinary approach combining hydro(geo)logical, biogeochemical and ecological investigations with integrated water and land use studies thus bridging physical and social sciences. The objective of this IMERA residence by the world-leading groundwater scientist Prof Peter Cook is to (a) contribute to building critical mass in water science at AMU and Labex OTmed, (b) promote the consideration and incorporation of groundwater-surface water interaction processes in regional modelling and management strategies. The results of this project will improve our capacity to sustainably manage hydrological and ecological resources in the Mediterranean region in the future.
BIO: Prof Cook is a world-renowned groundwater scientist with internationally recognised expertise in surface water – groundwater interaction and measurement of groundwater age. His research has included studies of groundwater travel times in different aquifer systems, studies of groundwater discharge to rivers, lakes and coastal wetlands, and quantification of hyporheic zone residence times. Until 2014, Prof Peter Cook was Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training where he also led the research program ‘Surface Water – Groundwater Interactions’. He was the National Ground Water Association’s Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Ground Water Science in 2009, the greatest honour to a groundwater scientist. He has published over 100 publications in international journals, including two of the four most cited papers ever published in Hydrogeology Journal. He is regularly carrying out interdisciplinary research with colleagues from disciplines beyond his own, and he regularly provides expert advice to decision makers on natural resource management.