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Berlin Environmental Atlas

05.07 Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (Edition 2004)

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The immediate reason for the preparation of Map 05.07 is the Water Framework Directive, Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and the Council Establishing a Framework for the Community Action in the Field of Water Policy, adopted by the European Union in 2000 (WFD).

Besides this, a city-wide overview of groundwater-dependent biotopes is important as a basis for the control of groundwater. The goal here is to design a procedure for groundwater extraction which will be ecologically appropriate. Among other things, all Berlin waterworks are to receive new extraction permits which will also contain ecological stipulations.

The knowledge of groundwater-affected ecosystems also permits a determination as to which locations are suitable fore an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in case of a drop in the groundwater table.

The European Water Framework Directive

The Water Framework Directive (Link to the European Water Framework Directive (in german)) imposes on the member states the obligation to first of all carry out a comprehensive ascertainment of resources in river areas. The basic requirement is to carry out a general description and to examine the effects of anthropogenic activities on ground and surface waters.

For the groundwater, groundwater-dependent land ecosystems and groundwater dependent surface waters, hereinafter known collectively as groundwater-dependent ecosystems, are to be ascertained.

The goal of the directive is to "prevent further deterioration, and protect and enhance the status of aquatic ecosystems and, with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly depending on the aquatic ecosystems" (Article 1 a).

The good quantitative condition of the groundwater bodies, which is the goal of the WFD, precludes significant damage to land ecosystems which are immediately dependant on the groundwater. The comprehensive ascertainment is designed to determine which groundwater bodies have a high risk of not fulfilling the goals of the Water Framework Directive. The delimitation of the groundwater bodies defined for Berlin is shown in Fig. 1.

Figure 1
Fig. 1: Delimitation of the Berlin groundwater bodies

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