Many foothill zones in Italy contain aquifer systems of strategic interest for water supplying, especially for drinking purposes (Doveri et al., 2016). The hydrogeological features in these environments generally promote the infiltration of both local rainfall and seepage from stream water originating in mountain catchments. On the other hand, because of their linkage with mountain areas, these systems are characterized by significant sensitivity towards the meteo-climatic variations and changes. To cope with climate change, a high level of knowledge of this type of aquifer should be reached in order to address the water management issues. This work focus on the aquifer system extending in the foothill plain located in the Piedmont region (NW Italy), between the Western Alps and the Torino Hill (Piana et al., 2017). Taking into account previous studies (De Luca et al., 2014 and references therein) and datasets from monitoring activities institutionally performed by the Environmental Protection Agency of Piedmont Region (ARPA Piemonte), the study examined the geological, hydrogeological and hydraulic-hydrodynamic features of the aquifer, as well as the chemistry of groundwater. This comprehensive approach steered the definition of the aquifer system conceptual model as well as the evolution of groundwater quantity and the chemical quality of groundwater. The statistical analysis performed on datasets highlighted some trends over the lasts two decades, both for groundwater quantity and quality. In particular, a significant sensitivity to meteo-climate conditions was pointed out by high confidence trends of piezometric level decrease occurred over both the periods 2004-2008 and 2010-2017, because of the respective rainfall decrease patterns. The rainy year 2009, which interposed itself between the two relatively dry periods, promoted sharp increases in terms of piezometric levels and concentrations of some chemical compounds in groundwater, thus pointing out as the hydrologic extremes can lead to the accumulation of nutrients and salinity in the unsaturated zone of the aquifer and their successive concentrate release in groundwater.
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the Project of National Interest NextData of the MIUR (Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research) and by the SMAT-Torino (Società Metropolitana Acque).
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