Project Description

GEMS (Ground Management in nitrate-vulnerable zones with agriculture activities) aims to improve EU regional policies on groundwater pollution caused by high nitrate levels from agriculture. Addressing poor water quality, it explores best practices in data monitoring, pollution assessment, policy governance, and integrated water management. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders, GEMS seeks to achieve Nitrate Directive objectives, ensuring safe water resources across Europe.


  • Partners will conduct thorough analyses of regional groundwater management policies, including mapping stakeholders and their interactions. They will assess aquifer quality impacted by agricultural activities and evaluate the consequent impacts on water supply infrastructure, particularly concerning the need for advanced treatment due to higher nitrate levels.
  • Through peer-reviewed assessments, partners will identify 28 best practices. These will cover various aspects such as effective data collection and monitoring methods, strategies for groundwater quality assessment and pollution mitigation, formulation of robust policies, governance structures, and stakeholder engagement tactics, as well as approaches to integrated water management.
  • GEMS will organize transnational thematic workshops throughout the project duration, offering partners opportunities for knowledge exchange and hands-on learning.
  • Regional stakeholders’ groups will convene regularly to support partners in implementing assessments, selecting regional best practices for dissemination, and participating in interregional learning events such as workshops, site visits, and peer reviews.

Project Outcome

The project involves 8 partners from 3 MED countries. It focuses on enhancing groundwater management across EU regions by facilitating interregional learning, capacity building, and policy influence. Through site visits, workshops, and stakeholder meetings, best practices in water quality control, monitoring, technology adoption, and nutrient management are shared. Regional assessments identify key areas for improvement, while peer-to-peer seminars address policy barriers. Partners monitor changes with guidance from AP2, ensuring long-term impact with stakeholder involvement at every stage.

Project Duration:

Starting date: November 2023   

End Date: November 2026

 Total Duration: 36

Budget Allocated: € 1,890,899.00 between 8 project partners. 

Energy and Water Agency (Malta): € 201,431.00

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