Trend reversal in groundwater pollution mini-conference was held in Frankfurt
27 Sep, 2023
Trend reversal difficult, but not impossible
On 4 September 2023, the IMPEL project “Trend reversal in groundwater pollution” held a mini-conference in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). 29 administrative and scientific experts from seven countries (Germany, Albania, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, Romania and the United Kingdom) discussed the pollution of groundwater by nitrate, pesticides, salt and other harmful substances from diffuse sources, and the best practices how to reverse negative trends. Experiences with different policies and instruments, especially in Denmark, the UK and Germany, were compared and the diverse views of regulators, water suppliers and farm consultants exchanged.
A success by a 40 % reduction in nitrate levels has been achieved in Denmark since the 1980s, on account of various stringent measures, but the current trend is not stable in this direction and the experiences in other countries are even less encouraging. The discussion showed that there is no easy and cheap solution to the problem. Still, the presentations and comments by experts helped to identify the measures and conditions that would lead to a significant improvement.
The results of the conference will serve as input for the envisaged IMPEL guideline on “trend reversal” that should be finalized in November 2023 as main product of the three-year IMPEL project. A follow-up project is planned for the period 2025-2027 and will focus specifically on the nitrate problem and the reduction of pollution from agricultural sources.