Project: Hydrological processes and Geological settings over Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems

Acronym HOVER (Reference Number: GeoE.171.013)
Duration 01/07/2018 - 30/06/2021
Project Topic The challenge is to gain understanding of the controls on groundwater quality across Europe using the combined expertise and data held by member states. The project will address groundwater management issues related to drinking water, human and ecosystem health across Europe in relation to both geogenic elements and anthropogenic pollutants by data sharing, technical and scientific exchange between European GSOs[1]. We will link our knowledge of geological settings and understanding of hydrogeological processes to the natural variability of groundwater quality and to the risk of transfer of anthropogenic dissolved compounds to aquifers. For natural water quality this will include evaluating health risks and spatial variability of concentrations of geogenic elements and using a common approach to assessing thermal and mineral water. For diffuse pollutant behaviour we will increase understanding of ecology and microbial diversity controls on transforming pollutants at groundwater-surface water transition zones, quantify groundwater age distributions and nitrate and pesticide travel times in the subsurface and their attenuation patterns for evaluating the efficiency of programme of measures, the design and assessment of monitoring programmes, pollution trends, and create EU-wide aquifer vulnerability maps by comparing assessment methods across Europe. New compounds will be addressed by developing a consistent approach to groundwater monitoring for organic emerging contaminants. Common standards, databases and maps will be developed and project outputs will include thematic maps and web service tools at pan-European scale and databases available through the Information Platform to increase political and public awareness and improve groundwater management at the EU scale.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
- Determining the natural variability of concentration of elements of geogenic origin depending on the geological and hydrogeological settings, evaluate by the mean of indicators the health risks and benefits and assess using a common approach thermal and mineral water - Increasing the understanding of how groundwater ecology and microbial diversity determine contaminant-transforming processes at European groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) transition zones - Assessing nitrate and pesticide travel times in saturated and unsaturated zones and where possible attenuation patterns for a number of relevant European settings for evaluating the efficiency of programme of measures - Demonstrating the use of groundwater age distributions for the design and assessment of monitoring programmes, pollution trends and history and the evolution of groundwater quality - Assessing vulnerability of the upper aquifer to pollution using GIS and comparing vulnerability assessment methods used depending on data available and the different hydrogeological conditions in Europe - Developing a consistent approach to groundwater monitoring for Organic Emerging Contaminants (ECs) in terms of sampling, site selection, monitoring frequency and methodology (including analytical techniques) and to ensure it is effective and data are comparable across the range of European geological and environmental settings
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Network GeoERA
Call GeoERA Cofund Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek Partner Netherlands
2 Deltares Partner Netherlands
3 Geologische Bundesanstalt Partner Austria
4 Vlaamse Milieu Maatschappij – Flanders Environment Agency Partner Belgium
5 Geological Survey of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Partner Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 Hrvatski Geološki Institut – Croatian Geological Survey Partner Croatia
7 Cyprus Geological Survey Department Partner Cyprus
8 Ceska Geologicka Sluzba – Czech Geological Survey Partner Czech Republic
9 Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Partner Denmark
10 Geologian Tutkimuskeskus – Geological Survey of Finland Partner Finland
11 Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières c France
12 Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe Partner Germany
13 Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie Niedersachsen Partner Germany
14 Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary Partner Hungary
15 Islenskar orkurannsoknir – Iceland GeoSurvey Partner Iceland
16 Geological Survey Ireland Partner Ireland
17 Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale Partner Italy
18 Latvian Centre of Geology, Environment and Meteorology Partner Latvia
19 Lietuvos Geologijos Tarnyba prie Aplinkos Ministerijos Partner Lithuania
20 Office of the Prime Minister Partner Malta
21 Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute Partner Poland
22 Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia Partner Portugal
23 Institutul Geologic al României Partner Romania
24 Geological Survey of Serbia Partner Serbia
25 Geološki zavod Slovenije Partner Slovenia
26 Instituto Geológico y Minero de España Partner Spain
27 Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya Partner Spain
28 Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning Partner Sweden
29 State Research and Development Enterprise – State Information Geological Fund of Ukraine Partner Ukraine
30 United Kingdom Research and Innovation (British Geological Survey) Partner United Kingdom
31 Eesti Geoloogiateenistus Partner Estonia
32 Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences – Geological Survey of Belgium Partner Belgium
33 Landesamt für Bergbau, Geologie und Rohstoffe Brandenburg Partner Germany