Factsheet #51

Regulation on limits for groundwater pollutants

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#51: Regulation on limits for groundwater pollutants


The aim of the law on groundwater protection is to define specified limites for a number of pollutants, e.g.nitrates.


The limit values specified in the corresponding regulation are not to be exceeded at any measuring point. Provisions include specifications for a monitoring programme.

Example: The groundwater ordinance in Weser Ems (FS)

The groundwater ordinance (GrwV) was implemented for the protection of groundwater sources and resources. It implements the EU Water Framework Directive and the Directive on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (2006/118/EC).
The main goal of the ordinance is to maintain a good chemical status of groundwater resources, which is achieved if measurements for the concentration of a range of chemicals do not indicate any value above specified thresholds at any given time. To this end, a comprehensive monitoring programme is established, with the task of providing an overview of the chemical status of all groundwater reserves. Additionally, the programme establishes preventive work aiming to reduce the possibility of pollutant substances reaching groundwater in the first place. 


STEER (2019). Assessment of variables in the five in-depth case studies of the STEER project. Internal Report (p. 593)

Federal Office Of Justice (2010). Ordinance on the protection of groundwater (GrwV) http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/grwv_2010/BJNR151300010.html Retrieved on 22 September 2020

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