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Research training for good European ground water resources

Activity Code: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN
Coordinator: Prof. Dr R.U. Rainer Meckenstock, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health


On 1st January 2007 the Ground Water sub-directive (COM/2003/550) complementing the European Water Framework Directive (COM/2000/60/EC) came into force. These two directives enforce the protection, maintenance and sustainable use of groundwater resources in the European Union. However, today around 750000 sites are contaminated with substances including hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, and diffuse organic contaminants throughout Europe.
Microbial processes can play an important role in the remediation and protection of groundwater resources and there is an urgent need for a better integration of microbial process understanding in current management schemes. Groundwater management must take into account different characteristics and degradation capacities for pollutants and sites, and requires a comprehensive understanding of contaminant fate, degradation pathways, and remediation potentials.
Today, in Europe there is a shortage of scientists and environmental engineers with the interdisciplinary understanding of groundwater contaminant behaviour required when embarking on the tasks of protecting and sustainably managing groundwater resources, remediating existing contaminations, and performing risk assessment.

Project Details:

Start Date: 01.09.2008
End Date: 31.08.2012
EU Contribution: 3.62 Mio. Euro
Total Costs: 3.62 Mio. Euro
Funding Scheme: Networks for Initial Training
Administrative Contact Person: Dr Jürgen Ertel, ertel@helmholtz-muenchen.de
Scientific Coordinator:
Prof. Dr R.U. Rainer Meckenstock, rainer.meckenstock@helmholtz-muenchen.de
Project Website:


  • Helmholtz Zentrum München- German Research Center for Environmental Health, Germany
  • Universiteit Gent, Belgium
  • Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium 
  • Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V., Belgium
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark
  • Danmarks og Groenlands Geologiske Undersoegelse, Denmark