Abstract

The groundwater vulnerability assessment is normally applied to rural watersheds. However, urbanization modifies the hydrogeological processes. A modified DRASTIC model was adopted to establish a groundwater vulnerability map in an urbanized watershed. The modified DRASTIC model incorporated a land-use map, and net recharge was calculated taking into account the specificity of the urban hydrogeological system. The application of the proposed approach to the Mannouba watershed demonstrates that the groundwater vulnerability indexes range from 80 to 165. The study's results shows that 30 percent of the Mannouba watershed area has a high vulnerability index, 45 percent of the area has a medium index, and 25 percent of the study area has a low vulnerability index. To specify the effect of each DRASTIC factor on the calculated vulnerability index, sensitivity analyses were performed. Land use, topography, and soil media have an important theoretical weight greater than the effective weight. The impact of the vadose zone factor has the most important effective weight and affects the vulnerability index. The sensitivity assessment explored the variation in vulnerability after thematic layer removal. In this analysis, the removal of hydraulic conductivity and impact of vadose zone modified the vulnerability index. Groundwater vulnerability assessment in urbanized watersheds is difficult and has to consider the impact of urbanization in the hydrogeological parameters.

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