Groundwater quality monitoring programs in the EU and China are converging with international best practice

The Groundwater Quality Management webinar held 26th and 28th October 2021 addressed key aspects of groundwater quality management, protection and use in 5 sessions:

  1. Status of Groundwater Quality in China and in the EU
  2. Groundwater quality monitoring and legislation
  3. Protection of Groundwater Quality
  4. Mitigation of diffuse groundwater pollution
  5. Remediation and treatment of polluted groundwater

The webinar comprised 18 presentations delivered by researchers, experts and staff representing 17 International, Chinese and European institutions, and private sector companies.

Key observations derived from the presentations are:

  1. Groundwater quality monitoring programs in the EU and China are converging with international best practice
  2. Groundwater chemical status is good but has room for improvement in most rural areas of the EU and China
  3. Groundwater monitoring programs should be risk based reflecting the local value of groundwater
  4. Groundwater quality in rural areas is broadly at risk from anthropogenic pollution, i.e. diffuse agricultural pollution by nitrate, pesticides and biocides - and should be protected accordingly, e.g. cover crops and pesticide leaching assessment programs
  5. Groundwater quality in rural areas is locally at risk due to:
  • “geogenic” pollution from equilibrium with aquifer host rocks (Fluorine) or saltwater intrusion in coastal areas (Chlorine and Iodine)
  • anthropogenic pollution due to overdraft causing from leaching of overlying rocks within depression cones (Arsenic) or upwelling of deep saline groundwater (Chlorine and Iodine)
  1. Groundwater monitoring has high potential for digitisation and artificial intelligence for data collection and processing
  2. Groundwater remains the main source for safe and affordable rural water supply
  3. Groundwater-based rural water supply typically requires none or only basic treatment by aeration, sand filtration or chlorination
  4. Permeable Reactive Barriers are applicable for local in-situ remediation of groundwater quality, e.g. as screens around groundwater abstraction wells
  5. Managed Aquifer Recharge is increasingly applied to replenish groundwater aquifers and may also benefit groundwater quality owing to purification during infiltration

For further information, including contact information to the presenters, please see the event report.