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Agricultural influence on groundwater in Latvia

Latvia on globe Latvia * The water presently stored in shallow aquifers will become drinking water in the future. The knowledge of contamination of shallow aquifers in Latvia is very little and a substantial effort is needed to provide the data necessary for daily management of main aquifers supplying drinking water and for compliance with present and future EU directives dealing with groundwater. The main objective of the project is preparation of prognoses for development of drinking water quality in the main aquifers of Latvia. This will be done through an extensive drilling and sampling campaign during a three-year period. Agricultural contamination of groundwater by nitrates and pesticides will be investigated in order to fill the information gab with regard to these questions. The results of the project will be essential for territorial planning and preparation of new hydrogeological maps, for future certification of ecological farms and for revision of the National Drinking Water Standard.

The experience for investigation of diffuse contamination originating from agriculture, accumulated at GEUS through active participation in design and implementation of the Danish Water Environment Plans, will be transferred to the State Geological Survey of Latvia. The project is financed by DANCEE (Danish Cooperation for Environment in Eastern Europe), Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA), Ministry of the Environment. And it is a natural continuation of earlier DEPA supported projects dealing with groundwater in the deep aquifers and with feasibility of utilisation of groundwater in stead of surface water as a source of drinking water for Riga.

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