Objectives of groundwater level measurement
Spatial distribution: Maps of groundwater level. Quantitative data on the hydraulic behaviour of aquifers. Identification of areas of recharge and discharge.
Trends: Monitoring of recharge, recession and natural groundwater level fluctuations. Monitoring impact of local and regional groundwater abstraction.
Early warning: Information to allow assessments of resources during periods of groundwater stress. Data for drought action monitoring or flood warning.
Baseline for future issues: Provision of data to support groundwater modelling, and for water resources investigation.
Surface water/groundwater interaction: Data to assess the impact of recharge or abstraction on streamflow.
Licensing and operational control: Data to control the monitoring and licensing of groundwater abstraction on a regional and local scale. Data for the operational
control of abstraction/recharge works.
Support to water quality studies: Aquifer protection associated with major developments. Water quality monitoring and control.
Groundwater monitoring is carried as part of:
1) General statutory duties: monitoring to determine the chemical and quantitative status of groundwater bodies under the Water Framework Directive.
It also underpins the designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, under the Nitrates Directive, and assessments of available resources for the Water Resources
2) Specific statutory requirements: the Groundwater Directive requires the assessment of overall impact on groundwater of discharges from licensed activities.
3) Monitoring to support national and/or European non-statutory commitments, or environmental initiatives ¡V such as Eurowaternet (proposals for pan-European
reporting of water quality).
The overall aims in monitoring groundwater are to meet domestic and European legislative requirements and to contribute to the protection of groundwater
and its uses (including direct abstraction and surface ecosystems dependent on groundwater).