10. Conclusions

The current report focuses on presenting and analyzing information around the quantitative status of the European Groundwater Bodies. The background information has been extracted from the WFD RBMPs. Based on the available data a series of graphs has been produced in order to cross-compare and assess the prevailing issues in relation to the quantitative status.

The results from the quantitative status assessment shows that only a few countries, namely Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Malta, have groundwater quantitative problems which are though mainly found in specific RBDs and not in the whole country, with the exception of Cyprus where approximately 70% of its Groundwater bodies are in poor status.

The report also goes through the significant pressures that are posed upon the groundwater bodies (groundwater abstraction, saltwater intrusion, artificial recharge and other pressures that are mostly relevant with chemical pressures. Groundwater abstractions are the main pressure that significantly influences Europe’s groundwater bodies.

Moreover, the potential groundwater quantitative status in 2015 was retrieved from the reported exemptions where Member states were required to indicate all bodies not achieving good status in 2015 after the necessary measures have been implemented, while justifying the request for and type of exemptions. All groundwater bodies without reported exemptions were considered to be in good status 2015.

For one third of the RBDs (46 out of 135) Members States applied for exemptions for not reaching good quantitative status, either by extending the deadlines or by achieving less stringent objectives The reasons for failing good quantitative status was also assessed. About 40% of the RBDs (43% = 57 of 135 reported RBDs), where information is available are failing good quantitative status of groundwater bodies.The main reason for that is the exceedance of the available groundwater resource by the long-term annual average rate of abstraction that may result in a decrease of groundwater levels.

Finally, an assessment of the measures that member states took in order to improve their quantitative status was assessed for those RBDs that were in poor quantitative status in 2009 and are significantly improving in 2015. From the assessment it was observed that member states are focusing on measures that will improve the main pressures (groundwater abstraction) by taking measures controlling groundwater abstraction and by increasing water use efficiency. On the other hand all 15 RBDs that where analysed have taken measures to control artificial recharge or augmentation of groundwater bodies which is a pressure that from the quantitative assessment does not seem to cause significant problems to the countries.

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