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Sustainable groundwater abstraction - Review report

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
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Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport 2013/30

by Hans Jørgen Henriksen and Jens Christian Refsgaard

Download the report: geus_rap_2013_30.pdf (pdf-file, ~ 3,5 Mb)

The report reviews the Danish River Basin Management Plans and management practices from selected European countries.
The Danish River Basin Management Plans is a key element in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, which prescribes that rivers, lakes, near coast part of the sea and groundwater should have a “good status” in 2015. The River Basin Management Plans outlines how Denmark will comply with the goals according to the Water Framework Directive.

The criteria used in the assessments of groundwater quantitative status made in the present first River Basin Management Plans in Denmark were quite simple, but not applied in a uniform manner throughout the country. They resulted in a poor quantitative status for many groundwater bodies indicating non-sustainable groundwater abstraction.

The water companies in Denmark in general find that the Water Framework Directive (WFD), including the Groundwater Directive (GWD), is a good and promising legislation contributing to a more holistic and integrated water resource management. They are, however, concerned that the present criteria build on fairly old knowledge that may be outdated compared to scientific state-of-the-art and to practices in other EU countries. They are furthermore concerned that the simple criteria are im-plemented differently in different parts of the country and that the criteria, when used too categorically as the final judgement of the groundwater status, do not allow use of better data and knowledge to re-evaluate the status.

On this background the water companies requested GEUS (i) to review the international literature and knowledge base with respect to criteria and methodologies for assessing sustainable groundwater abstraction; (ii) to review management practices from selected European countries and the Danish River Basin Management Plans; and (iii) to prepare recommendations for improvements of knowledge base and tools.

Senioradvisor Hans Jørgen Henriksen, GEUS
Tel. +45 38 14 27 71

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