The UPWATER project aims to develop successful methods and solutions that will require scaling up. One of the tasks assigned to TARH, a Portuguese consulting firm, is to facilitate this process. Additionally, evaluating the long-term impact of these developed methods and solutions could lead to the revision and enhancement of current government policies on water. With the goal to make them more efficient and effective.
TARH is well known for its work in groundwater, mineral water and geothermal resources. The firm is recognized for its expertise in assessing and researching these resources, as well as providing consulting services in hydrogeology. TARH also assists in the implementation, monitoring, and recovery of groundwater abstractions (the process of taking water from a ground source), in addition to conducting research at both local and regional scales.
Rita Carvalho, a project manager at TARH, is actively involved in the UPWATER project. With her background in biology and geology, along with fifteen years of experience in groundwater, she is well-equipped to carry out the assigned tasks entrusted to TARH. Carvalho exudes confidence in the success of their work, expressing, ” If its regarding groundwater, we can do it!”
Assessing large-scale impacts of the mitigation solutions
TARH has two main objectives in the UPWATER project. The first objective is to assess the broad-scale impacts of the mitigation solutions tested during the project. This requires scaling up the results obtained from the three sites to contribute to a regional and larger-scale approach. Carvalho explains, “We aim to extract solutions from the three sites to integrate them into a wider regional context.”
The second objective is to work out where governance frameworks can be improved to better support a new way of working with water. TARH will compare current methods for preventing water pollution to those that are tested within the UPWATER project, and check how they could be implemented into the governance frameworks. Carvalho further emphasizes, “We aim to recommend measures to update the current policies and provide suggestions to improve governance frameworks for more effective protection of groundwater”
We need to focus on groundwater!
Carvalho prefers to maintain an open-minded approach and avoids being overly specific about her expectations for the project. She appreciates the well-structured and thought-out nature of the project, involving multiple specialists from diverse fields of work. She particularly appreciates the “starting small” approach adopted by focusing on three case studies. This approach facilitates the scalability of significant results across Europe and beyond.
Carvalho considers it crucial that the quality of groundwater receives additional attention, as she perceives it as a somewhat neglected field. “We usually have more attention to surface water. That is what most people see as available water sources. Our expectation, not only TARH’s but that of the whole scientific community, is that groundwater will be a very important factor in the quantity and quality of usable drinking water.”