Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Pushpam Kumar and Tom Dedeurwaerdere
Chapter 26: The contribution of non-use values to inform the management of groundwater systems: the Rokua esker, Northern Finland
This chapter focuses not only on the estimation of use but, as importantly, also on nonuse values to inform the management of groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs), using as a case study the Rokua esker in Northern Finland. GDEs are ecosystems of great importance because of the conservation, biodiversity, ecological, social and economic values they provide. Their basic characteristic is that they require access to groundwater to maintain their healthy condition. Following Evans and Clifton (2001) GDEs include: (1) terrestrial ecosystems that rely seasonally or episodically on groundwater; (2) river base-flow systems, including aquatic, hyporheic and riparian ecosystems that depend on groundwater input, especially during dry periods; (3) aquifer and cave ecosystems, often containing diverse and unique fauna; (4) wetlands dependent on groundwater influx for all or part of the time; and, (5) estuarine and nearshore marine ecosystems that rely on groundwater discharge. As a result, a loss of groundwater resources is a major threat as ecosystems' functions and composition are reliant on the appropriate supply of groundwater. Consequently these ecosystems are very sensitive to climate change and natural variability. Across Europe, aquifers' resources are dramatically changing with groundwater resources to face increasing quantitative pressure mainly from land use issues and consumption pressures (Klove et al., 2011).
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