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Are groundwater ecosystem rights being preserved?
Are groundwater ecosystem rights being preserved?: A critical evaluation of the legal background of groundwater ecosystems.
Grundwasser 23, 209-218 (2018)
DOI
Groundwater is the largest and oldest continental biome. However, in the German and EU legislation, groundwater is still considered an abiotic resource rather than an ecosystem. On the other hand, the German Water Act (WHG, Wasserhaushaltsgesetz) mentions groundwaters along with other water bodies that carry the status of ecosystems. Its ecosystem status is also referred to in the preamble of the European Groundwater Directive (EC-GWD). The implementation of groundwater protection measures should be geared to the ecosystemic approach for surface waters contained in the European Water Framework Directive (EC-WFD) and to the German National Biodiversity Strategy (BMU 2007). Addition of the terms "good ecological status" and "groundwater ecosystems" into the German and EU environmental water laws is recommended. Groundwater habitats and species should be subject to impact assessment and included into the FFH directive and German nature conservation laws. There is no technical or legal argument for the discrimination of groundwater ecosystems and species in environmental legislation. The authors argue for the legal equality of ground and surface water, and propose the adaption of the existing legislation according to ecological requirements.
Groundwater is the largest and oldest continental biome. However, in the German and EU legislation, groundwater is still considered an abiotic resource rather than an ecosystem. On the other hand, the German Water Act (WHG, Wasserhaushaltsgesetz) mentions groundwaters along with other water bodies that carry the status of ecosystems. Its ecosystem status is also referred to in the preamble of the European Groundwater Directive (EC-GWD). The implementation of groundwater protection measures should be geared to the ecosystemic approach for surface waters contained in the European Water Framework Directive (EC-WFD) and to the German National Biodiversity Strategy (BMU 2007). Addition of the terms “good ecological status” and “groundwater ecosystems” into the German and EU environmental water laws is recommended. Groundwater habitats and species should be subject to impact assessment and included into the FFH directive and German nature conservation laws. There is no technical or legal argument for the discrimination of groundwater ecosystems and species in environmental legislation. The authors argue for the legal equality of ground and surface water, and propose the adaption of the existing legislation according to ecological requirements.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Groundwater Ecosystems ; Legislation Legal Background ; Groundwater Directive ; Impact Assessment; Biodiversity; Services; Health; Index
Reviewing status peer-reviewed