Sustainable use of water resources and climate change impacts are two important components in contemporary water resources management in Denmark and internationally, where water resources must now meet the growing demand from individuals, agriculture and companies.
GEUS’ activities in brief
In many of its projects, GEUS is working with water resources management activities at national, regional as well as municipal levels and with focus on integrated water resources management. For example, GEUS is helping implement the EU Framework Directive in Denmark; a task involving many challenges and which therefore requires research efforts which GEUS can deliver. Expected climate change impacts on the water cycle, and, ultimately, also on water resources management, are currently in the spotlight both in Denmark and internationally, and this is an area in which GEUS is also active.
Master's in water resources management
GEUS offers an international master's programme in water resources management together with its partner in Geocenter Denmark; the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen, and with approved technological service provider; DHI. This programme comprises courses in e.g. hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysical measuring methods, groundwater chemistry, integrated hydrological modelling, and water resources management.
Implementation of the Water Framework Directive
Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) includes preparation of water plans to ensure that lakes, watercourses, coastal waters and groundwater occurrences generally meet the environmental target of having a "good (ecological) status". This includes implementation of the Groundwater Directive, which focusses on groundwater protection and sustainable use of groundwater resources. The Groundwater Directive sets quality requirements and threshold values and determines and controls upward or downward trends. GEUS is involved in groundwater protection, establishment of criteria for sustainable water extraction, and setting threshold values. GEUS is also contributing input to the national water plans. For more, see Water cycle ((LINK)).
Integrated and adaptive water resources management
Integrated water resources management (IWRM) has three major aims: financial development, social equality and environmental sustainability. One main objective of the EU Water Framework Directive is to achieve environmental sustainability, and, in this context, GEUS is working on sustainable exploitation of groundwater resources.
Furthermore, GEUS is involved in adaptive water resources management, which is based on integrated water resources management, but it also places great emphasis on how to deal with uncertainties in data, models and decision-making processes. The keyword in adaptive water resources management is learning; i.e. understanding the complex hydrological, technological and economic systems with emphasis on how to handle stakeholder, authority and researcher relations in collective learning processes.
Water resources management under a changed climate
GEUS is involved in water resources management in connection with expected climate change impacts on the hydrological cycle. These activities cover modelling changes in the water cycle and capacity building with regard to sustainability and resilience with stakeholders in Denmark and abroad.