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.