Serban Danielescu

Image Serban Danielescu
Research Scientist - Groundwater -surface water interactions, Agricultural impacts on groundwater

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to ensure aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected

  • Local and watershed scale assessment of the impacts of agricultural practices (e.g. potato production systems) on nitrogen levels in groundwater
  • Groundwater - surface water interaction
  • Use of geochemical and isotopic tracers
  • Contaminant transport in the saturated and unsaturated zones
  • Development of online hydrology tools

Joint appointment with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Research and/or project statements


The various free online tools included in the suite can be used for advancing the understanding of local and watershed scale hydrological processes and include algorithms for estimating 1) surface runoff and groundwater contributions to streamflow via hydrograph separation [SepHydro]; 2) potential, reference and actual evapotranspiration [ETCalc]; 3) crop water deficit and excess, irrigation requirement and its impact on aquifer storage, water budget [SWIB]; 4) water balance (e.g., snowfall, snowmelt, snowpack, soil water content, evapotranspiration, drainage, infiltration, surface runoff, etc.) [SNOSWAB]; 5) groundwater recharge [RECHARGE BUDDY]; and 6) snowfall and rainfall amounts [SNOWFALL BUDDY]. The tools included in the suite can be used in many areas of environmental research, such as the assessment of the impact of agricultural practices, urbanization, climate change, etc. These tools and models can be used for standalone analyses, for providing input to complex models or for educational purposes.



ETCalc is a tool that integrates several customizable methods for calculating daily Potential Evapotranspiration (PET), Reference Evapotranspiration (ETR) and Actual Evapotranspiration (ET) based on user provided meteorological data and crop coefficients. The tool currently integrates Penman-Monteith, Thornthwaite, Blaney-Criddle, Turc, Priestley-Taylor, Hargreaves, Jensen-Haise and Abtew empirical equations.



 SepHydro is a tool that offers several customizable digital filtering algorithms for performing hydrograph separation (or baseflow separation) and assessing surface runoff and groundwater contributions to streamflow based on user provided daily streamflow data. SepHydro currently integrates Lyne & Hollick, Chapman, Eckhardt, Pettyjohn & Henning (Fixed Interval, Sliding Interval, Local Minimum, TR-55, Szilagyi (long and short), Boughton (AWBM) and Furey & Gupta, Chapman & Maxwell separation methods.



SWIB (Soil Water Stress, Irrigation Requirement and Water Balance) is a model that allows users to estimate daily crop / soil water stress (either as water deficit or water excess), crop irrigation requirements and the impact of irrigation on aquifer storage, as well as a series of water balance components, based on user provided daily measured soil moisture and precipitation. SWIB allows for testing irrigation scheduling and efficiency scenarios based on user-defined growing and irrigation seasons, thresholds for soil moisture and water losses.



SNOSWAB (Snow, Soil Water and Water Balance) is an online model for estimation of daily dynamics of snow-related processes (snowfall, snow accumulation, snowmelt), soil water content and water balance components (infiltration, drainage and surface runoff) based on user provided air temperature, precipitation, rainfall and evapotranspiration. The model incorporates routines for evaluation of the effects of temperature and precipitation on snow-related processes as well as impact of freezing and low or high soil water content on the dynamics of water balance components. SNOSWAB includes calibration routines and bivariate statistics for optimization of model output.



Groundwater Recharge Estimation Tool (RECHARGE BUDDY) is an online tool for estimation of daily groundwater recharge, groundwater discharge and change in aquifer storage based on user-provided specific yield and daily water table elevations. RECHARGE BUDDY uses an adaptation of the widely-used Water Table Fluctuation (WTF) method. RECHARGE BUDDY includes calibration routines and bivariate statistics for optimization of model output.



Snowfall and rainfall estimation tool (SNOW BUDDY) is an online tool for estimation of daily snowfall and rainfall amounts based on user-provided daily air temperature and total precipitation. SNOW BUDDY estimates snowfall and rainfall as mm of water and further allows for conversion of the snowfall amount into centimeters of snow. SNOW BUDDY includes calibration routines and bivariate statistics for optimization of model output.


Professional activities / interests

Involved in collaborative research projects funded by ECCC and AAFC, such as Lake Winnnipeg Basin Initative (ECCC), Atlantic Living Laboratories (AAFC), etc.

Thesis co-supervisor and committee member for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students

Interests in groundwater mediated nutrient transport to surface water, local and watershed scale water balance and contaminant transport, online tool development

Education and awards

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Environmental Group, University of New Brunswick

Ph.D. Systems Ecology and Sustainable Development, University of Bucharest (Romania)

Key publications

Alexander-Trusiak AC,  Danielescu S, Grapentine L, Luiker E, McKenna C, Monk W, Costa PD (2024). Multiple stressors and cumulative effects. In: Synthesis of freshwater science in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Cat. No. En84-359/2023E-PDF. ISBN: 9780660687599

Alexander-Trusiak AC, Allen J, Danielescu S, Laengle T, MacDonald T, Morrison M, Sheedy C, Villeneuve J (2024). Pesticides. In: Synthesis of freshwater science in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Cat. No. En84-359/2023E-PDF. ISBN: 9780660687599

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Nyiraneza J, Zebarth B, Sharifi-Mood N, Grimmett M, Main T, Levesque M (2024) Development and Validation of a Crop and Nitrate Leaching Model for Potato Cropping Systems in a Temperate–Humid Region. Water 16: 475. DOI:

Pavlovskii I, Jiang Y, Danielescu S, Kurylyk BL (2023) Influence of precipitation event size magnitude on baseflow and coastal nitrate export for Prince Edward Island, Canada. Hydrological Processes 37: e14892. DOI:

Danielescu S (2023) Development and Application of ETCalc, a Unique Online Tool for Estimation of Daily Evapotranspiration. Atmosphere-Ocean 2023, 61. 135-147. DOI:   

Danielescu S (2022) SWIB - An Online Model to Estimate Daily Crop Water Stress, Irrigation Needs, and Soil Water Budget. Groundwater. DOI:

KarisAllen JJ, Mohammed AA, Tamborski JJ, Jamieson RC, Danielescu S, Kurylyk BL (2022) Intertidal spring discharge to a coastal ecosystem and impacts of climate change on future groundwater temperature: A multi-method investigation. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 26: 4721–4740. DOI:

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Zebarth B, Nyiraneza J, Grimmett M, Levesque M. (2022) Crop Water Deficit and Supplemental Irrigation Requirements for Potato Production in a Temperate Humid Region (Prince Edward Island, Canada). Water 14: 2748. DOI:

Bretcan P, Tansilav D, Radulescu C, Serban G, Danielescu S, Reid M, Dunea D (2022) Evaluation of Shallow Groundwater Quality At Regional Scales Using Adaptive Water Quality Indices. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, 10637. DOI:

Danielescu S, Adamescu MC, Cheval S, Dumitrescu A, Cazacu C, Borcan M, Postolache C (2022) Climate Change Impacts on Hydrological Processes in a South-Eastern European Catchment. Water 14: 2325. DOI:

Van Stempvoort DR, Robertson WD, MacKay Ross, Collins P, Brown SJ, Danielescu S, Pascoe T (2021) The role of groundwater in loading of nutrients to a restricted bay in a Precambrian Shield lake. Part 1 - Conceptual model and field observations. Journal of Great Lakes Research 47: 1259:1272. DOI:   

Danielescu S, Van Stempvoort DR, McCrimmon C, Valipour R (2021) The role of groundwater in loading of nutrients to a restricted bay in a Precambrian Shield lake. Part 2 - Numerical modeling. Journal of Great Lakes Research 47: 1273-1287. DOI:  

Martel M, Glenn A, Wilson H, Danielescu S, Krobel R, Smith W, McConkey B, Guest G, Janzen H (2021) A parsimonious water budget model for Canadianagricultural conditions. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 36: 100846. DOI:

Danielescu S, Barbecot F, Morand V (2020) Groundwater contributions to surface water in the Assiniboine Delta Aquifer (ADA): A water quantity and quality perspective. Journal of Great Lakes Research. DOI:

Danielescu S, Van Stempvoort DR, Bickerton G, Roy JW (2020) Use of mature willows (Salix nigra) for hydraulic control of landfill-impacted groundwater in a temperate climate. Journal of Environmental Management 272: 111106. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111106

Lamb K, MacQuarrie KTB, Butler K, Danielescu S, Mott E, Grimmett M, Zebarth BJ (2019) Hydrogeophysical monitoring reveals primarily vertical movement of an applied tracer across a shallow, sloping low-permeability till interface: Implications for agricultural nitrate transport. Journal of Hydrology 573: 616 – 630. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.03.075

Boudreault M, Koiter A, Lobb D, Liu K, Benoy G, Owens P, Danielescu S, Li S (2018) Using colour, shape and radionuclide fingerprints to identify sources of sediment in an agricultural watershed in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 43: 347–365. DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2018.1451781

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Popa A (2018) SEPHYDRO: A Customizable Online Tool for Hydrograph Separation. Groundwater 56: 589-593. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12792

Conant B, Danielescu S, Reeves H, Coulibaly P. 2016. Groundwater/surface water interaction. Chapt. 2 in Grannemann, G. and Van Stempvoort, D. (Eds.), Groundwater science relevant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: A status report. Final version, May, 2016. Published (online) by Environment and Climate Change Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Robertson WD, Van Stempvoort DR, Roy JW, Brown SJ, Spoelstra J, Schiff SL, Rudolph DR, Danielescu S, Graham G (2016) Use of an Artificial Sweetener to Identify Sources of Groundwater Nitrate Contamination. Groundwater 54: 579-587. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12399

Zebarth BJ, Danielescu S, Nyiraneza J, Ryan MC, Jiang Y, Grimmett, M Burton DL (2015) Controls on nitrate loading and implications for BMPs under intensive potato production systems in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation 35: 30-42. DOI: 10.1111/gwmr.12088

DesRoches A, Danielescu S, Butler K (2014) Structural controls on groundwater flow in a fractured bedrock aquifer underlying an agricultural region of northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Hydrogeol J 22: 1067–1086 DOI 10.1007/s10040-014-1134-0

Li Q, Xing Z, Danielescu S, Li S, Jiang Y, Meng F-R (2014) Data requirements for using combined conductivity mass balance and recursive digital filter method to estimate groundwater recharge in a small watershed, New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of Hydrology 511: 658–664. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.073

Li Q, Qi J, Xing Z, Li S, Jiang Y, Danielescu S, Zhu H, Wei X, Meng F (2014) An approach for assessing impact of land use and biophysical conditions across landscape on recharge rate and nitrogen loading of groundwater. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 196: 114–124. DOI:

Zhang R, Li Q, Chow TL, Li S, Danielescu S (2013) Baseflow separation in a small watershed in New Brunswick, Canada, using a recursive digital filter calibrated with the conductivity mass balance method, Hydrological Processes 27, 2659–2665. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9417

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB (2013) Nitrogen and oxygen isotopes in nitrate in the groundwater and surface water discharge from two rural catchments: Implications for nitrogen loading to coastal waters. Biogeochemistry 115: 111-127. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-012-9823-z

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB (2011) Nitrogen loadings to two small estuaries, Prince Edward Island, Canada: a 2-year investigation of precipitation, surface water and groundwater contributions, Hydrological Processes (Hydrol. Process.) 25: 945–957 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7881

Danielescu S, MacQuarrie KTB, Faux RN (2009) The integration of thermal infrared imaging, discharge measurements and numerical simulation to quantify the relative contributions of freshwater inflows to small estuaries in Atlantic Canada, Hydrological Processes (Hydrol. Process.) 23: 2847–2859 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7383

Schilling C, Behrendt H, Blaschke A, Danielescu S, Dimova G, Gabriel O, Heinecke U, Kovacs A, Lampert C, Postolache C, Schreiber H, Strauss P, Zessner M (2005) Lessons learned from investigations on case study level for modelling of nutrient emissions in the Danube basin, Water Science & Technology 51: 183–191

Burt TP, Pinay G, Matheson FE, Haycock NE, Butturini A, Clement JC, Danielescu S, Dowrick DJ, Hefting MM, Hillbricht-Ilkowska A, Maitre V (2002) Water table fluctuations in the riparian zone: comparative results from a pan-European experiment, Journal of Hydrology 265: 129-148. DOI:10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00102-6

Vadineanu A, Adamescu M, Cazacu C, Danielescu S, Bodescu F (2001) Studies on natural capital and socio-economic systems. No.1: Lower Danube Wetlands System (Past and future management), Bucharest (Romania), 74 p. ISBN 973 - 0 - 0485 – 5

Research facility

95 Innovation Road
PO Box 20280
Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7


Honorary Research Associate, Civil Engineering Department, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Research Associate, Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Research Associate, Research Center in Systems Ecology and Sustainability, University of Bucharest, Romania