Once groundwater is contaminated it becomes very costly to remediate and may take a long time to recover. Consequentially, proactive management of groundwater, where possible, is essential, as contamination from diffuse sources is not only seen as an environmental issue but also as an economic and health concern.
iA pressing need thus presents itself (in regions dominated by large scale anthropogenic activities, such as mining and agriculture) for research into identifying vulnerable aquifer locations and a method to design or potentially optimize a monitoring program. This will aid in better management and the potential mitigation of the contamination of groundwater sources before it reaches a state of non-repair.
The development of the ArcGIS software has allowed for an easy to use user interface for the simulation of aquifer vulnerability models. The ease of archiving, retrieving and display of spatial data has also improved greatly. Additionally, it also provided a platform for the assignment of numerical ratings to specific spatial attribute data. This thus makes ArcGIS a very useful tool for conducting simulation models for assessing aquifer vulnerability.