We are conducting two major studies for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to establish a national picture of difficulties and opportunities relating to groundwater. Both projects get stakeholders involved to share knowledge or provide feedback about the results.
Protecting national groundwater reserves for later
Working with TNO, we are mapping out deep, clean, fresh and brackish groundwater reserves in the Netherlands. This natural capital could be used in the future if there are large-scale crises lasting a number of years or for structural drinking water supplies. Or for a purpose decided on by future generations. Which underground areas will be earmarked? And how will they be protected? These questions will be addressed in 2023.
Good-quality groundwater stocks
With policymakers, fellow knowledge institutes and other stakeholders, we are working on an integrated groundwater study. This study will establish a national picture of the quality of our groundwater, as well as the stocks, areas requiring attention and solutions for various functions (such as nature, urban area, soil energy, agriculture). In a process referred to as ‘greying’, the chemical quality of that groundwater is deteriorating as a result of activities on and in the soil that lead to pollution. After a national picture has been established in the first quarter of 2023, we will look specifically at the implications for the energy transition (in areas such as geothermal energy). The national pictures will be worked up in several meetings with stakeholders, groundwater experts and landscape architects. In this way, current themes will be included and the coordination with a range of ongoing projects and programmes will be safeguarded.
With these Dutch projects, we will also be implementing our declaration of intent at the outset of this Groundwater Year 2022