Groundwater Resources

Main impacts

  • To protect Europe’s groundwater resources from increasing pressures caused by climate change and competing subsurface uses, including for mineral and energy resources
  • To improve policy-relevant FAIR compliant data on strategically important groundwater resources for drought management
  • To improve methods for monitoring, visualising and mapping groundwater quantity and quality patterns, and capacity for temporary storage

Objectives and Tasks

The main objectives in terms of Groundwater Resources are:

  • To support integrated, efficient and sustainable use and protection of European groundwater resources, including the assessment of temporary storage capacities from the perspective of groundwater quantity and quality
  • To improve data collection (FAIR compliant) and management at national and EU level, and application of these data for (near real-time) monitoring, forecasting and evaluation of groundwater quantity and quality

The first task, with a focus on groundwater quantity, pursues transnational, harmonised data gathering, monitoring and evaluation of groundwater dynamics in the context of climate change and includes the identification of groundwater levels from near-real-time monitoring sites, the collection, harmonisation, standardisation and integration of selected representative data in one intelligent data management system, to be used at EU level (complying with FAIR and new Open Geospatial Consortium standards). Actions will be taken on trend detection, groundwater depletion, analysis of groundwater extremes, appraisal of physical capacities for temporary storage, and assessment of groundwater resilience, to manage and adapt to droughts that may worsen as a result of climate change. As a basis for the development of sustainable groundwater management strategies, a data-driven operational system for (near-)real-time monitoring and a European system for short- and long-term forecasting of groundwater levels and detection of flood and drought events will be established.

The other task, on groundwater quality, focuses on transnational, harmonised data gathering, monitoring and evaluation of groundwater quality patterns and identification of trends. Activities include harmonising the assessment of intrinsic characteristics of groundwater and processes as essential factors for the transport and fate of pollutants, applying and further developing innovative methods of data generation for transnational data extended to the EU level, and improving the understanding of natural groundwater quality necessary for compliance with the Groundwater Directive. Identification of groundwater quality monitoring sites, gathering, development of protocols for harmonisation and integration of the selected representative data into an intelligent data management system following the FAIR principles and development of methods for processing the data to assess groundwater quality patterns will be carried out. A matrix of drivers and pressures on groundwater quality, a mapping and assessment of trends and development of selected groundwater pollutants, and an assessment of hydrogeochemical capacities for temporary storage will be developed.

Aug 25–31
August 25 – 31, 2024Busan, Republic of Korea


  • A European groundwater monitoring database with (near-)real- time visualisation of standardised groundwater levels
  • A report on strategically important aquifers, including capacities for temporary storage to manage droughts
  • An operational European groundwater level forecasting and event detection system
  • A harmonised methodology and protocol using a range of data processing techniques to assess groundwater quality patterns with geological/hydrogeochemical/hydrological settings at multiple spatial and temporal scales
  • Hydrogeochemical and hydrological prototypes for comprehensive visualisation of groundwater quality patterns, contamination risk, capacities for temporary storage and a predictive tool to support groundwater management decision making