GeoERA Hover

Project Description

Hydrological processes and Geological settings over Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems (HOVER)

The Hydrogeological processes and Geological settings over Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems, or HOVER, addressed the complex dynamics influencing groundwater quality across Europe. Collaborating with member states, the project aimed to unravel the natural and human-induced factors shaping groundwater quality through six technical axes. These included examining geogenic elements, assessing microbial ecology’s role in contaminant transformation, addressing diffuse pollution from agricultural activities, understanding groundwater age and travel time distributions, evaluating vulnerability to surface pollution, and identifying organic contaminants of emerging concern.

Objectives

  1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing groundwater quality across Europe.
  2. Investigate the impact of geogenic and anthropogenic elements on groundwater contamination.
  3. Assess the role of microbial ecology in contaminant transformation processes.
  4. Evaluate the effects of diffuse pollution from agricultural activities on groundwater quality.
  5. Determine groundwater age and travel time distributions in European aquifers.
  6. Assess vulnerability to pollution from surface sources.
  7. Identify organic contaminants of emerging concern in European groundwater systems.

Project Outcome

The HOVER project yielded significant outcomes aimed at enhancing the understanding and management of groundwater quality in Europe. Through collaboration and data exchange among European Geological Survey Organizations (GSOs), the project produced a range of valuable resources and tools. These included guidelines, thematic maps, web service tools, and databases accessible through the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI).

Thematic maps and datasets related to nitrate and pesticide pollution, as well as redox potential and nitrate transfer time, were made available, aiding in diffuse pollution impact assessments. Additionally, more than 20 pilot studies were conducted utilizing environmental tracers to assess groundwater age distributions. The project also facilitated vulnerability assessments of upper aquifers to pollution using established methods like DRASTIC and COP, providing crucial insights across the EU.

Furthermore, the compilation of organic contaminants of emerging concern provided a comprehensive overview of monitoring status across Europe. Overall, the project outcomes underscored the importance of continued development and improvement in groundwater management, emphasizing the need for standardized databases and assessment methodologies to safeguard water quality for human health and ecosystem well-being.

Project Duration

Starting date: January 2017 

End Date: February 2022 

Total Duration: 62 Months

Budget Allocated: €2,999,814 between 30 project partners.

External Website: https://geoera.eu/projects/hover8/

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