Short description

Founded in 1948, the Hydraulics and Environment Department of LNEC has been responsible for more than 1,500 applied research studies developed for the Public Administration and for private and public institutions in water works, water management and public infrastructure management processes. More than 25% of these studies were developed for foreign countries, in Europe and all over the World. The two privileged ecosystems for research are the European research projects (FP and H2020) and national collaborative projects. The Department is participating in nine H2020 projects, having coordinated two of them, and in 2018 was awarded eight new projects by the National Research Foundation Program. Several successful co-funded collaborative projects have been developed by LNEC since 1995, with significant numbers of utilities in Portugal and Spain, within which several PhD and Post-Doc research projects have been concluded. LNEC’s water research priorities for 2015-2020 include water resources management, hydrology and hydrogeology, water-energy nexus; infrastructure asset management; water quality, treatment and reuse; managed aquifer recharge, risk management and safety; climate change adaptation and resilience; regulation and public policies. The applied methodologies include numerical modelling, in situ and large-scale laboratory modelling, field monitoring and infrastructure inspections, as well as studies and expert analyses.

In the last decades the team has worked in several EU projects related to water treatment and to nature- based solutions for water treatment such as Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), including the study of water quality improvement using MAR systems, having several demo sites in the Algarve, Portugal, supported by numerical modelling and both laboratory and field experiments.


Teresa E. Leitão

Principal Investigator

Dr Teresa E. Leitão, LNEC principal investigator, is PhD in Hydrogeology in the field of groundwater quality rehabilitation, Senior Research Officer with Habilitation Degree at National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC). As expert in sampling, monitoring, data analysis, and modelling the fate and transport of pollutants in groundwater, she will supervise the work to be developed on risk assessment of groundwater contamination in Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) schemes aiming natural attenuation of contaminants using nature-based solutions.

Tiago N. Martins

Project Member

Mr Tiago N. Martins, groundwater modeller, is MSc in Hydrogeology and conducted his dissertation within the MARSOL project on the subject of Soil-Aquifer Treatment. He is currently a Senior Technician in National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC) and is developing his PhD thesis related to Managed Aquifer Recharge. Tiago has experience in vulnerability assessment and numerical modelling of groundwater flow but also has expertise in laboratory work, particularly in soil-column experiments. In AGREEMAR, he is involved in the numerical modelling, which also include the preparation of meteorological data series for natural recharge computation, and post-modelling mapping procedures.

Manuel M. Oliveira

Project Member

Dr Manuel M. Oliveira, groundwater modeller, is PhD in Hydrogeology in the field of aquifer recharge, Research Officer at National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC). As expert in groundwater recharge and hydrogeological modelling, he will supervise the work to be developed concerning the optimization of infiltration methods and numerical modelling of the MAR tests.

Relevant publications (selection)

  • Martins, T.N., Oliveira, M.M., Portela, M.M., Leitão, T.E. (2021) Sensitivity analysis of a simplified precipitation-runoff model to estimate water availability in Southern Portuguese watersheds. Acque Sotterranee – Italian Journal of Groundwater 10, 33–47.
  • Leitão, T.E., Martins, T.N., Henriques, M.J., Lobo Ferreira, J.P. (2020) Large Scale Soil- Aquifer-Treatment (Sat-Mar) Physical Model Experiments To Improve Water Quality. 11th International Conference Environmental Engineering.
  • Oliveira, M.M., Martins, T.N. (2019) A methodology for the preliminary characterisation of the river boundary condition in finite difference groundwater flow numerical models. Acque Sotterranee – Italian Journal of Groundwater 8.
  • Lobo Ferreira, J.P., Martins, T. (eds.) (2018) MARSOL White Book on the state of the art in Managed Aquifer Recharge Modelling. A Literature Review. Portuguese Water Association (APRH). Available in
  • Leitão, T.E., Lobo Ferreira, J.P., Martins, T., Oliveira, M.M., Henriques, M.J., Carvalho, T.M., Martins De Carvalho, J., Agostinho, R., Carvalho, R., Sousa, R., Monteiro, J.P., Costa L.R.D., Hugman, R., Mota, R., Mesquita, E., Rogeiro, J., Rosa, M.J. (2017) Deliverable 4.5 Managed Aquifer Recharge to Improve the Groundwater Status in South Portugal. UE MARSOL project – Demonstrating Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Solution to Water Scarcity and Drought, January, 139 p. Available in