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Options for an effective groundwater quality assessment framework : The standards and tools for assessing the quality of groundwater in the Environment and Planning Act

Opties voor een adequaat beoordelingskader voor grondwaterkwaliteit : Normen en instrumentarium voor de beoordeling van de grondwaterkwaliteit in de Omgevingswet

Synopsis

Ensuring the quality of groundwater is currently part of the remit of the Soil Protection Act, but in future will come under the Environment and Planning Act. Because of this transition, the rules relating to the management of the quality of groundwater are being reviewed. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment is therefore presenting a number of options for the revision of the assessment framework. They are intended as a contribution towards the discussion and towards future decision making.

The options involve a modernisation and simplification of the framework of standards and are more closely in keeping with the aims and obligations of the European Water Framework Directive. It has also been noted that the lists of substances for standards of adjacent environmental fields, such as for soil and surface water, are not consistent and that therefore greater synergy is needed in these areas.

An important option is to focus more strongly on the assessment of the quality of groundwater in areas where drinking water is extracted. Part of the proposed quality assessment is the GRADE (Groundwater Risk Assessment near Drinking Water Extractions) model, which calculates the risk of contamination when extracting drinking water. The model, which is currently under development, takes account of the quality requirements relating to the extraction of drinking water, and the degree to which substances are diluted and degradated in the groundwater. This represents a possible solution to the current problems in groundwater protection areas that arise as a result of the differences between the standards that apply to groundwater near extraction areas and those applied by soil management bodies when tackling groundwater contamination.

It is recommended that the various options be examined in greater detail in partnership with the relevant government bodies, and that the GRADE model be developed further and validated.

 

To reference/ cite  this report use: DOI 10.21945/RIVM-2017-0129

Home / Documents and publications / 2017 / December / Options for an effective groundwater quality assessment framework : The standards and tools for assessing the quality of groundwater in the Environment and Planning Act

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