6. Conclusions

This report provides an overview about groundwater quality and quantity monitoring activities in Europe. The report only contains data that were available via the MW2 questionnaires and the answers given. Consequently the report is limited to the information. This data collection had to be realised within a very strict timetable. As a consequence it was quite laborious for countries with centralised structure to succeed in answering in time. But due to the time available for this task it was not really possible for decentralised countries to deliver information within the deadline. Thereupon some of them could only give „average estimations" on their monitoring systems due to the fact that their monitoring networks are differently structured. This experience may be a helpful instrument for further project planning. Also the data obtained from all member countries were variously detailed. Thereupon the evaluation procedures were not that easy.

Although database systems within the EEA member states are also often as different as the national monitoring objectives it is possible to adopt them for the data transfer into an EEA core database or for data transfers between countries and researchers. As pointed out in the discussion an EEA wide interface installation or a common use of the EIONET system can facilitate data transfer in future, even further inventories can be made faster and easier. Cost effectiveness is guaranteed as present systems can be widely used. This EEA groundwater database which contains surface and groundwater monitoring data -as described in the report- will assist these processes by providing

  • a first overview of data available and responsible organisations for groundwater monitoring activities in each country

  • the state of monitoring activities, sampling site details, geographical and temporal extent of networks, measured variables and frequencies, sampling and analysing procedures, database infrastructures, reporting and organisations involved at country level

  • demonstrations of quality assurance procedures in each country which may be a key information for data comparison

  • comparisons of monitoring practices adopted in each of the member states, with each aspect of the monitoring procedure examined in turn

  • information about ways of harmonisation within the groundwater monitoring strategies of the member countries, with normally one central organisation co-ordinating the programme and having responsibility for maintaining the national database.

All data collected via the inventory can be a very helpful tool for further co-operation and development in the fields of water protection in the EEA area. For example the work for the MW3 project „Network Design" already showed that the MW2 monitoring inventory and data collection was a very good basis for the MW3 task reports. Thereupon this database is an important basis for the further harmonisation of the different national monitoring activities as well as the data management and storage. The need for these procedures were highlighted in the MW3 tasks reports (1995) too. These efforts can lead to a better co-ordination and handling for the solution of environmental problems. The solution of water problems is one of the main task for the further environmental policy of the European Community. Nowadays as good drinking water quality as well as the water resources themselves are more and more endangered by human activities. The water problem can destabilise all our living conditions. Careful management of water resources and protection by good water monitoring systems will help to handle these topics. A first step is initialised with the design for the EEA database.

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