WIT Press

The EU Water Framework Directive As A Framework For Sustainable Groundwater Management In Niedersachsen, Germany


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WIT Press


G. Dörhöfer


The EU water framework directive (WFD) leads to a restructuring of all aspects of water management within EU countries. The WFD requires the pursuit of good water quality for all types of water bodies within a tight time frame and compulsory reporting intervals within river basin boundaries. For Niedersachsen the activities are being described to fulfil the requirements of the first phase of characterizing the status of groundwater bodies. The delineation of 129 such entities follows hydraulic plus hydrogeological patterns. The characterization is made for both the chemical and the quantitative status. Pressures on the chemical status of the groundwater system derive from the influence of diffuse sources mainly from agriculture; point sources play a minor role. In addition, a few groundwater bodies are being stressed by high abstraction rates. Keywords: water framework directive (WFD), groundwater management. 1 Introduction When the EU legislation regarding a \“Directive… establishing a framework for Community action in the fields of water management” [1] was launched on Dec.22nd, 2000, the following turn of the millennium also marked the beginning of a turnover of water management structures all over Europe. This process of reorganisation of water management within the boundaries of large river basins instead of political boundaries is still under way. Most countries and provinces in the EU have either fully or nearly completed the implementation process for the required changes in their respective national water regulations and laws. The first phase of initial and further characterisations of groundwater and surface water bodies required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), needs


water framework directive (WFD), groundwater management.