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EU-WATERRES - An Integrated Data Processing System for The Sustainable Use and Protection of Groundwater in EU Border Areas

Transboundary water problems concern most of the regions covered by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. Transboundary groundwater resources deserve special attention, as they are more difficult to diagnose and manage than surface waters. Data exchange between neighboring countries regarding transboundary groundwater is slow and inconsistent. Therefore, the Polish Geological Institute in cooperation with 8 partners from Estonia, Latvia, Norway and Ukraine and  took the initiative to harmonize data on groundwater resources and condition on a transboundary scale under the EU-WATERRES project "EU-WATERRES" EU-integrated management system of cross-border groundwater resources and anthropogenic hazards"), funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.

EU-WATERRES aims to increase the capacity of public authorities to manage transboundary groundwater resources by creating an integrated information platform, introducing new data analysis tools and solutions for coordinated management and integrated groundwater protection. Nine entities from Estonia, Ukraine, Latvia, Norway and Poland are involved in the implementation of this project, presenting geological surveys, scientific units and a geoinformatics company. The leader of the project is the Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute.

The project concerns two cross-border areas, representing: the Baltic and Eastern Europe, i.e. the Latvian-Estonian border and the Polish-Ukrainian border, which is also the eastern border of the European Union.

EU-WATERRES is the first initiative to unify the spatial hydrogeological data of the EU Member States and Ukraine. The implementation of the project covers the years 2020-2023.

The specific objectives of the EU-WATERRES project are as follows:

  • creating a geoinformatic platform for integrated data processing defining the conditions of transboundary aquifers and their numerical simulation,
  • support for decision makers in creating solutions for the coordinated use and integrated protection of transboundary groundwater,
  • creating the basis for coordinating procedures for monitoring of transboundary groundwater flows,
  • increasing the credibility of the assessment of the state of transboundary groundwater by integrating data,
  • testing solutions in 3 case studies within the EU and 1 case study in Ukraine.

Project outcomes will enhance coordination, improving the efficiency of international cooperation in the management and control of the quality and quantity of transboundary groundwater. Planned numerous educational activities are aimed at raising public awareness of the issues of transboundary impacts on groundwater.

The EU-WATERRES project is a forerunner in the creation of a universal tool supporting strategic decision making in the context of water management in border areas.

More information about the project is available at: http://eu-waterres.eu/

 

Text: Tatiana Solovey & Urszula Czarniecka-Januszczyk

Disclaimer: The project No.2018-1-0137 “EU-WATERRES: EU-integrated management system of cross-border groundwater resources and anthropogenic hazards” benefits from a € 2.447.761 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. The aim of the project is to promote coordinated management and integrated protection of transboundary groundwater by creating a geoinformation platform.

Last updated: 13 April 2021