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Autumn School Digital water management and water-related agroecosystem services: geostatistics, hydroinformatics and groundwater flow numerical modelling

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da 12.10.2020 a 23.11.2020
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The Autumn School is designed for early career scientists (PhD students or post-doc), with a degree in engineering, environmental sciences, earth sciences, agricultural engineering, physics, mathematics, informatics. Twelve positions are reserved to the Early Stage Researchers/PhD of the MSCA - ITN MARSOLUT project.

The Autumn School is open to a maximum of 30 participants; twelve positions are reserved for the ESRs of the MSCA ITN MARSOLUT project. Nine positions are reserved to European Union students not older than 35 years at the date of the deadline for application. Nine positions are reserved to African students not older than 35 years at the date of the deadline for application.

The Institute of Life Sciences of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa – Italy) organises the third edition of the Autumn School Digital water management and water-related agroecosystem services: geostatistics, hydroinformatics and groundwater flow numerical modelling, pursuant to Art. 3 of the Statute.

The School was born as a two-weeks long full-immersion Summer School, an activity foreseen in Action D2 (Dissemination of results) of the EU LIFE REWAT (sustainable WATer management in the lower Cornia valley through demand REduction, aquifer Recharge and river REstoration; project co-financed by the European Union.

Because of the COVID-19 emergency, it is turned in an Autumn School as 40-hours on-line course. This year it is run within the framework of the EU MSCA-ITN MARSOLUT project ( ).

MARSoluT - Managed Aquifer Recharge Solutions Training Network - is a four-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission. MARSoluT intends to tackle specific technical challenges in the operation of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) sites on a scientific basis, specifically:

       chemical, biological and hydraulic processes resulting in clogging and reduction of infiltration rates,

       hydrogeochemical processes affecting the water quality, with special focus on micropollutants,

       performance monitoring and modelling, including reactive transport models to predict the fate of pathogens and emerging pollutants, and

       implications of the processes mentioned above on the technical design of MAR projects in the frame of regional flow models and water management plans.

MARSoluT intends, at the same time, to train a significant number (12) of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become experts in the application of MAR in the frame of an Integrated Water Resources Management. We envisage these ESRs to become highly qualified multipliers for the effective promotion and implementation of MAR concepts in Europe and worldwide.

MARSoluT brings together 19 Beneficiaries and Partners Organisations, 9 of which come from academia and 10 from the non-academic sector, including SMEs but also large companies from the water sector, indicating the high potential of the research approaches for commercial, full-scale application.

The LIFE REWAT takes place in the coastal Cornia plain (Tuscany, Italy). There, the aquifer system provides the only source of water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial purposes, and it also contributes to the water needs of the nearby Elba island. Since 60 years, intensive exploitation of groundwater resulted in consistent head lowering and water balance deficit, causing subsidence, reduction of groundwater dependent ecosystems, and salinization of freshwater resources. Rebalancing the water budget of the hydrologic system by means of innovative concepts (such as those of water-related agroecosystem services and nature-based solutions) is the main objective of the LIFE REWAT project. Five demonstration measures (river restoration; Managed Aquifer Recharge; reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation; high irrigation efficiency scheme; leakage management in water distribution systems) are in place for promoting water resource management, along with capacity building and participatory actions. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT; sensors and software use) are widely used in order to monitor the impact of such actions and to monitor quantitative and qualitative status of the groundwater resource.

The Autumn School is particularly relevant for participants interested in innovation and software application in water, and more specifically groundwater, resource monitoring and management, in particular dealing with:

- aquifer overexploitation,

- saltwater intrusion,

- non-conventional use of water resources;

- treated wastewater reuse,

- agricultural water use,

- GIS and spatial data analysis,

- hydroinformatics,

- ICT in hydrochemistry

- numerical modelling of groundwater flow and solute transport in aquifers.

The Autumn School is also organised within the framework of the ICT4WATER cluster ( and the EUROPEAN INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP on WATER ( MAR to Market Action Group.


The Autumn School aims at proposing innovative ideas on water resource management by focusing on the concept of water-related agro-ecosystem services and on nature-based solutions and blue infrastructures, with specific reference for this year edition to Managed Aquifer Recharge. Digital tools (software applications) will constitute the other pillar of the Autumn School, aiming at preparing the participants to develop the skills for dealing with the management and analysis of groundwater-related spatial data by using state-of-the-art Information and Communication Technologies.

Class lectures and exercises are divided in four modules:

i)       Module I: Innovation in water resource management: water-related agroecosystem services and nature-based solutions (7 hours);

ii)      Module II: Data management, spatial data analysis and geostatistics (8 hours);

iii) Module III: Hydroinformatics: introducing programming to water resource management (8 hours);

iii)     Module III: Numerical modelling of groundwater flow in aquifers (17 hours).

Further information on the Autumn School programme and modules may be obtained by writing to Rudy Rossetto (

On line classes will be run on Monday, tentative programme foresees about 5 to 6 hours lecture per day between 9 am and 6 pm. Participants will need a good and reliable internet connection; the on-line teaching platform will be provided by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

Theoretical and applied lectures, when possible, will make use of real data coming from the MARSOLUT and LIFE REWAT interested area: the Val di Cornia coastal plain.

The teaching activities will make use of an extremely interdisciplinary approach granted by the diverse competences of the key staff members.

Free and Open Source Software will be used for applied lectures. The FREEWAT software ( will be used in the modelling module.


At the end of the Autumn School, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna will issue a certificate of attendance with value to the extent permitted by law, and with the details of the ECTS obtained by the students who attended at least 80% of the whole Autumn School programme, and passed the assessment tests foreseen and are up-to-date with the payment of the enrolment fee.

Dr. Rudy Rossetto


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Selection committee
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Admitted candidates
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Reserve list
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