Vulnerability mapping is a tool that can be used to illustrate how the intrinsic physical properties of an aquifer protect it from an external threat that can potentially decrease groundwater quality.

The quality of groundwater in coastal aquifers is affected by the infiltration of pollutants from the land surface and by sea water intrusion, which is being exacerbated by rising sea levels. The ACVM (Aquifer Comprehensive Vulnerability Mapping) is a new method for elaborating a Comprehensive Vulnerability Map able in describing simultaneously many aspects of aquifer vulnerability. This new method is easy to use and can be applied with inexpensive data.

The ACVM method establishes a new conceptual approach to evaluate coastal aquifer vulnerability based on a wider concept of aquifer vulnerability in fact, vulnerability maps prepared with the ACVM method show the distribution of the intrinsic physical properties that can protect an aquifer against all potential external threats to its groundwater quality, over the short- and long-terms.

Moreover, it is possible to use the ACVM parameter to establish management recommendations that can help decision makers understand how different activities can impact the sustainability of coastal aquifers and the ecosystems they support.