Tackling illegal groundwater drilling and abstractions (TIGDA)



Project description and aims

Groundwater is and remains a valuable resource for the environment and different human activities. Environmental and anthropogenic pressures on this resource include amongst others: climate change (drought, flooding, etc.), (over)abstraction and pollution (point source and diffuse). Water reuse, water buffering and infiltration are some of the possible measures to diminish our requirement for fresh groundwater as well as replenish its storage. Nonetheless groundwater drilling and abstraction will remain necessary for different purposes. Groundwater shortage is no longer an exclusive problem for arid or Mediterranean countries. Recent prolonged drought periods have repeatedly made clear that groundwater supplies have to be carefully managed (abstraction as well as recharge) in all member states and countries in Europe.

This project aims to share knowledge and good practices on how to manage groundwater drilling and abstractions. This would include specific permitting conditions, accreditations as well as enforcement tools and methods in place in different member states to reduce illegal drilling and groundwater (over)abstraction thus helping in attaining a good quantitative and qualitative state of groundwater bodies. As the different aquifers and aquitards in the member states are drilled (through) for these purposes it is useful for member states share knowledge or have guidance on:

  • Which specific legislation and requirements are in place for groundwater protection (drilling, instalment and exploitation).
  • Which specific methods are in use for enforcement of this legislation (site visits, checklists, use of experts, best practices).

The aim of this project in the first phase is to collect data from the member states regarding the two topics mentioned above. In subsequent phases guidance documents on groundwater drilling & abstraction legislation and enforcement will be drafted.

Related files/information

  • Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
  • Groundwater directive (2006/118/EC)
  • Action plan on improving environmental compliance and governance (COM 2018/10)

Number: 2021/08-WP4 – Status: Ongoing – Period: 2021 – Topic: Water and land - Tags:

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