Department of Hydrology and Water Conservation

Appointed Dept. Head: Ing. Petr Fučik, Ph.D. fucikpetratvumopcz

Research activities

Main objective of the research is to figure out interactions among land use patterns and manners and water quality and quantity dynamics; our aim is to assess the apportionment of water pollution sources, and especially to exactly delimitate and quantify the role of critical source areas of non-point agricultural pollution. Our research is divided into several mutually linked branches:

  • Assessment of non-productive ecological functions of permanent grasslands resulting from different management, soil properties and other environmental conditions in the protection zones of water resources. Nutrients usage, soil types and sloping zones are being taking into account; the impact of differential grasslands management (including slurry usage) on biochemical transformation of soil nitrogen and organic carbon is studied
  • Research of actual evapotranspiration estimation, botanical composition and soil chemical and microbiological properties; incorporating also how the soil and its physical properties in different sloping zones of a cultivated catchment can influence actual evapotranspiration and vegetation water stress
  • Detection the possible relationships among the agricultural subsurface drainage systems (and its parameters), landuse and agricultural management and amount and quality of related outflow water; the investigation is focused mainly on nitrogen (nitrates, ammonia), phosphorus (phosphates, total P), sulphate, ferrous compounds, pH, etc. A detailed monitoring system of water quality (authomatic ISCO samplers) and quantity (ultrasonic probes+dataloggers) has been set a few years ago
  • Usage of GIS (methods of geographical analysis and synthesis); the effort is beside determination of land use changes (contemporary, historical; both aerial and satellite images) to specify proper practices for drainage systems owners/users (maintenance and services, monitoring) and revitalization options for drainage constructions and subdrained areas
  • Soil survey with ground penetrating radar
  • Application of hydrological and statistical (water quality and quantity) models

We employ several research sites (small catchments and experimental localities), which are situated in the Bohemo-Moravian Highland in the catchment area of the Želivka River, which is important drinking water supply course. Kopaninský stream catchment represents a typical local small agricultural catchment (7 km2) with agricultural tile drainage systems. In the Dehtáře catchment (60 ha), there is established a very detailed tile drainage monitoring system, aiming to separate drainage runoff components and to locate drainage water (critical) source areas and the influence of its usage on water quality.

Further, three groups of lysimeters are operated close to the Dehtáře catchment on shallow, middle and deep soils. The quality of lysimetric (percolation) water under different grassland management and soil properties are observed and measured.

Projection activities

Proposing the protection zones of water supply reservoir basins for the Povodí Vltavy, state enterprise (the administrator of significant and defined watercourses). We use an integrated approach for diminishing the diffuse agricultural pollution in the surface water supply reservoir basins. The principle of s.c. critical source areas (CSA) is brought to bear. Three criteria for CSA delimitation are used; firstly, source areas of elevated potential elutriation of nutrients into drainage and ground waters, secondly, sites threatened by water erosion and thirdly, locations necessary for the direct and immediate protection of water courses and areas. Point sources are naturally being involved in the designs. Since the year 1995, twelve water supply reservoir basins has been processed
Diverse tasks and orders dealing with land use, soil properties (infiltration rates, physical properties, ...), water quality, agricultural tile drainage, GIS, Earth observation techniques, etc.