Towards the first Pan-European groundwater / subsurface water resources map

About 30 European partners of the #GeoERA RESOURCE  project just completed three days of discussions focusing on the development of the first Pan-European groundwater resources map estimating the quantity, quality, depth and age of groundwater resources in Europe.

The meeting was held at the geological survey of Croatia (HGI, see group photo below). The project probably develops the currently most advanced multinational groundwater resources map at large scale, globally.

The data and information collected in the map and ultimately visualized in the European Geological Data Infrastructure / EGDI will provide valuable information on the quantity and quality of European groundwater resources for assessment of #climate change impacts on European water resources and the ecological status of groundwater dependent terrestrial and associated aquatic #ecosystems. In addition, the data and maps will support implementation of the Water Framework Directive and its daughter directive the Groundwater Directive of the #European Commission.

The new quasi 3D map is partly based on classifications defined by the International Hydrogeological map of Europe IHME1500 developed under the auspices of the International Association of Hydrogeologists / #IAH and financially supported by #UNESCO and Germany / the German Geological Survey / #BGR.

The status and main deliverables of RESOURCE and the other GeoERA projects will be presented at the #EGU (European Geosciences Union) General Assembly 2020 in Vienna, 3-8.5.2020.

The new Pan European groundwater resources map is of interest to and relevant for the groundwater and water resources community, globally, including the #IAH, #IAHS, #IGRAC, #EFG as well as environment agencies, regional authorities, the European Environment Agency, #EEA, the Joint Research Centre of the #European Commission and #EU Science, Research and Innovation.


General Assembly of the GeoERA RESOURCE project

The General Assembly of the GeoERA RESOURCE project just opened by the Director of the Croatian Geological Survey Slobodan Miko and the coordinator of the RESOURCE project Hans Peter Broers from the Dutch Geological Survey, TNO. The first map of European groundwater / subsurface water resources is the flagship product from the RESOURCE project to be developed for the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI)

Sustainable use of subsurface resources

The European  #GeoERA  program on sustainable use of the subsurface resources groundwater, raw materials and geoenergy and development of a subsurface information platform: the #European Geological Data Infrastructure   / EGDI was presented twice this week.

The GeoERA information platform, the three themes groundwater, raw materials and geoenergy and their 14 projects within GeoERA were briefly presented at the national Danish “Hydrology Day” / #Hydrologidag 2019 and the Swedish “Groundwater Days” /  #Grundvattendagarna. Climate change impacts on groundwater and the hydrological cycle in general were a key topic at both meetings discussing e.g. new tools for assessment of climate change impacts on groundwater and development of mitigation and adaptation strategies e.g. against floods and droughts.

A #subsurface information platform with easy and #”FAIR” = Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable access to data and information is of crucial importance to humanity to meet the #societal challenges and the #Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

The European Geological Surveys / #EuroGeoSurveys combined forces to continue / initiate the development of a globally leading subsurface information platform within the GeoERA program. The subsurface information platform is initiated by the geological surveys of Europe, but continuous development and success of the platform will only be possible in close collaboration with all stakeholders in efficient #Public Private Partnerships and with continuous support from public as well as private research funds.

This will ensure the development of innovative add-ons to EGDI for efficient upload and use of data together with similar information from e.g. #climate / #global circulation models. GeoERA received funding primarily from ministries funding the European Geological Surveys, the #H2020  / EU Horizon 2020 programme and the Grand Solutions program of #Innovation Fund Denmark.

The use of subsurface resources are often not sustainable, but our modern society is  build on subsurface resources and the subsurface offers important solutions and possibilities for climate change mitigation and adaptation and for building a #resilient and sustainable society. Our society needs an advanced subsurface information platform to manage the subsurface resources in a sustainable way and properly manage competing and conflicting interests in subsurface resources.

To the left – me presenting GeoERA at the Groundwater Days at Lund University, Sweden to the right – Prof. Karsten Høgh Jensen of Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen presenting amazing achievements of 12 years of research within the HOBE – Center for Hydrology (hydrological observatory) project at the annual national Danish Hydrology Day at Hotel HC Andersen in Odense, Denmark (see links to the program of both meetings above in section two of this post).

Karsten Høgh Jensen /University of Copenhagen initiated the annual “Hydrology Day” in 2009 within the HOBE Project and organized it every year since then together with colleagues representing #IAH (International Association of Hydrogeologists), #IAHS (International Association of Hydrological Sciences)  and #Nordic Association for Hydrology   –  e.g. from #GEUS (the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland). GEUS will take over the organisation of the “Hydrology Day” from 2020.

How is European groundwater resources affected by climate change? – General assembly of the GeoERA TACTIC project at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy

Partners of the TACTIC project (Tools for assessment of climate change impact on groundwater and adaptation strategies) of the GeoERA EU research and innovation program currently has the annual general assembly discussing project progress and webservice products visualizing climate change impacts on European groundwater resources with the GeoERA Information Platform Project (GIP-P) as well as members of the advisory board – Alberto Pistocchi of the JRC, Ispra and Roland Barthel of University of Gothenburg in Ispra, Italy.

BONUS SEAMOUNT at the Baltic Sea Science Congress in Stockholm 19-23 August 2019

Scientists from the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, The Geological Survey of Finland, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the SME “Evologics” developing underwater drones (AUV’s) for underwater surveys and monitoring presented today research on submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in Germany, Finland and Denmark. The importance of SGD and their effects on the ecological status of coastal ecosystems is not very well known and need to be closely investigated in order to assess SGD impacts and improve the Scientific basis for policy development and protection of coastal ecosystems – e.g. By establishing groundwater threshold values as required by the Groundwater Directive / Water Framework Directive. The BONUS SEAMOUNT project collaborates closely with the Horizon 2020 programme GeoERA on the development of a SGD Information Platform within the European Geological Data Infrastructure. The photos show Joonas Virtasalo of the Geological Survey of Finland presenting results of their SGD study south of the Hanko peninsula in southern Finland.

Estimating groundwater age distributions in water supply wells and the history and fate of pollutants in aquifers


Groundwater researchers, Master and PhD students from globally leading environmental tracer laboratories and research institutes in Switzerland (Univ. Bern), Germany (Univ. Heidelberg, Univ. Bremen), the Netherlands (TNO),  Denmark (GEUS) and Italy (Univ. Sapienza, Rome) met this week in the city of Odense, Denmark, in order to collect water samples for estimation of groundwater age distributions in water supply wells of VCS Denmark of which many are contaminated by pesticides. The work is part of the HOVER project within the GeoERA program of the European geological surveys, which is co-funded by the EU, European geological surveys and Innovation Fund Denmark. The sampling program included collection of samples for the analysis of the following important tracers: 85Kr, 39Ar, 37Ar, 3H/3He, 4He, 14C, d13C, 18O, 2H, SF6, CFCs and noble gases. In addition some wells were sampled for the analysis of pesticides and emerging contaminants. The research institutes benefited from the efficient and skilled support of groundwater specialists and technicians of VCS Denmark, which ensured efficient collection of 11 samples from 9 different water supply wells for water analyses to be conducted at five research laboratories and one commercial laboratory. All samples were collected in just 2.5 working day .

IAEA International Symposium on Isotope hydrology

Today is the last day of the IAEA International Symposium on Isotope Hydrology – as usual it had a very interesting program about the use of isotopes in hydrology e.g. On groundwater dating in both young polluted groundwater and groundwater with ages up to a million years. The GeoERA project leaders of HOVER (Laurence Gourcy) and RESOURCE (Hans Peter Broers) both presented results of isotope studies. Hans Peter Broers presented work of the Dutch Geological Survey, TNO about the use of 3H/3He dating in Young contaminated groundwater in the Netherlands. Work which is continued in the GeoERA project. Laurence Gourcy about the use of isotopes in groundwater studies in the upper Volta area in Africa. We furthermore had a meeting with leading groundwater dating labs. and colleagues from Univ Bern, Univ Heidelberg and USGS about an upcoming common groundwater sampling campaign in Danish water supply wells medio June. I’m confident that we will get a lot of new exciding and important data from this study, which will be used for assessment of groundwater vulnerability towards pollution from the surface and included in the GeoERA Information Platform / EGDI in the Future. Hopefully, we can present the results at the next IAEA symposium on isotope hydrology.

GeoERA groundwater presented at UN / UNECE resource management week in Geneva 2.5.2019

The activities of the EuroGeoSurveys’ Water Resources Expert Group (WREG) including GeoERA groundwater were presented 2.5.2019 at the UNECE resource management week in the UN Palais de Nations in Geneva – see the brief presentation here:

In addition we have contributed to establishing a new global working group on groundwater and groundwater classification within the UNFC similar to the existing WG classifications on minerals and energy etc. The new working group on groundwater is chaired by Prof. Marco Petitta from univ. Sapienza in Rome representing the European Federation of Geologists, who was also leading the KINDRA project on classification of European groundwater research and the development of the European Inventory of Groundwater Research EIGR