The course will explain the hydrogeological processes at the origin of the availability of groundwater resources for the human consumption. Starting with the definition of the continental water cycle, skills about the recharge, the circulation and the outflow of groundwater will be achieved. The course will be provide specifications on the criteria for classification of drinking waters and mineral waters, based on the hydrogeological features. The ultimate objective of this course is to allow a better understanding of the geological and hydrogeochemical mechanisms responsible for the different chemical composition of the drinking water and the genesis of the main Italian mineral waters.
Also, the course includes educational tours in natural spring areas and in mineral water pumping and bottling plants.

teacher profile | teaching materials


1) Basic concepts on the uses and the protection of the groundwater resources
Water cycle, differences between groundwater reserves and resources, different uses of groundwater, groundwater quality and quantity protection
2) Hydrogeological budget.
Components of the hydrogeological budget and the methods for the measurement of the main hydrological parameters (rainfall, temperature, evapotranspiration, discharge..)
3) Basic concepts on geology.
Types and composition of rocks, Rocks cycle with information about the plate tectonic, igneous and volcanic rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks
4) Hydrogeology
Physical parameters of the rocks in relationship with the groundwater (porosity and permeability); distinction between aquifer, aquiclude and aquitard; recharge of an aquifer; groundwater circulation in a phreatic or in a confined aquifer; description of the meaning and the types of springs
5) Hydrogeochemistry
Water – rocks interaction and the effects on the chemical characteristics of groundwater; groundwater types, information about groundwater sampling methods
6) Main regional aquifers in Central Italy: description of the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of these aquifers according to different geological features (carbonate, volcanic, alluvial and coastal aquifers)
7) Groundwater resources for human consumption.
Drinking use (aqueduct water and mineral waters), irrigation use; chemical requirements of the water for human consumption according to the national laws,
8) Main laws concerning the management and the protection of the groundwater

Core Documentation


Type of evaluation

presentation of a written essay and oral examination on the whole program