Navigation and service

Dr. Michael Eisele

North Rhine Westphalian State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV), Düsseldorf, Germany

Cooperation project GROWA+ NRW 2021: Development of a model basis for the management of nitrogen input into groundwater from agriculture

© Dr. Michael EiseleDr. Michael Eisele
Copyright: privat


At the end of the second management period of the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2015 the management plan has shown that 87 of 276 groundwater bodies (GWB) in Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW) were not in good chemical status due to high nitrate concentrations although programs of measures have been implemented with the aim to reduce nitrate input into groundwater. In addition more GWB are at risk of failing this target for the end of the next management periods (2021/2027). Against this background LANUV initiated the cooperation project GROWA+ NRW 2021. Aside of LANUV the cooperation includes the Research Centre Jülich (FZJ), the Geological Survey NRW (GD), the Agricultural Chamber NRW (LWK) and the Thünen-Institute (TI). The GROWA+ NRW 2021 project focuses on following targets:

  • Consideration of the best state-wide available data sources
  • Establishment of a consistent, commonly accepted and updatable data base on Federal State level
  • Application and specific enhancement of the model chain RAUMIS-GROWA/mGROWA-DENUZ-WEKU already implemented in NRW for spatially differentiated and state wide nitrogen flux analyses
  • Determination of relevant diffuse nitrogen sources (agricultural nitrogen surplus, atmospheric deposition, small sewage works)
  • Status quo analysis of diffuse nitrogen inputs into ground and surface waters
  • Determination of residence times and denitrification in the unsaturated zone and in groundwater
  • Assessment of the nitrogen input reduction need necessary to achieve the environmental targets of WFD, Nitrate Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  • Evaluation of the efficiency of nitrogen reduction measures
  • Compilation of recommendations for the implementation of regionally applicable as well as economically and socially suitable management options

The results of the project are expected to be available at the beginning of the next WFD inventory in 2019. Preliminary results and methodic issues are intensively discussed and evaluated during the entire project period among the project partners and external experts, like communal water federations, non-government-organizations, agricultural advisers etc. This contributes to both, the integration of further know-how and the acceptance of the project results among stakeholders.

The presentation will include first preliminary results.