Groundwater Monitoring and Compliance Checking According to WFD and GD
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
The Netherlands has set up a program to monitor groundwater in order to reach compliance with the formal requirements of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Groundwater Directive (GD). To this end, several aspects of this WFD Monitoring Program Groundwater quality (KMG) were evaluated. There is a need to develop a conceptual model which describes the interaction between surface runoff, groundwater and ecosystems. Surveillance and operational monitoring should be expanded to the upper few meters of groundwater for those locations where the upper groundwater interacts with the surface water and ecosystems. In addition, monitoring wells in the Netherlands should be distributed spatially on the basis of soil type, land use and hydrological situation in order to obtain a representative distribution of the measurements. Finally, the reliability of the assessment of the water quality can be improved by expanding the number of existing monitoring wells. These are the conclusions of a study carried out by the RIVM and Deltares by order of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM).The European WFD sets goals. One of these is that in 2015 there will be sufficient water in Europe with a good chemical status. This goal implies that the concentrations of pollutants should not exceed the standards and that the concentrations present should not cause a significant deterioration of the ecological or chemical quality of the groundwater body. In addition, these concentrations should inflict damage on groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The current assessment method for determining the chemical status of groundwater has been based on measurements taken at 10 and 25 m below the soil surface. The recommendation to also use groundwater quality data from the upper few meters concerns both surveillance and operational monitoring. Surveillance monitoring is applied in areas where the risk of pollution in 2015 is low, and operational monitoring is applied in areas where there is a higher pollution risk. In terms of operational monitoring, this recommendation has the advantage that effects of environmental policy measures can be observed at an earlier stage.