Status and Experiences Made in the Artificial Recharge of Ground Water in the Federal Republic of Germany

by W. -D. Schmidt, Gelsenwasser AG, Germany,
R. Meyer, Gelsenwasser AG, Germany,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Artificial Recharge of Ground Water


With a rate of 72%, ground and spring water is the most important raw material for drinking water supply in the Federal Republic of Germany. Ground water, however, is not available everywhere in sufficient quantity, particularly in some important built-up areas. In these regions, surface water is used for the water supply. In 1987, 1.122 million m3/a or 27.6% of the drinking water originated from surface water. 404 million m3/a of surface water have been recharged artificially; this figure is relatively high. Artificial recharge of ground water is a very favorable and practical method to use sufficient existing quantities of surface water without giving up the essential advantages of true ground water. With respect to the water quality, artificial recharge is a good way to control quality but not the only one. Preventional protection of waters is indispensable, in particular with view to the increasing endangerment of waters by organic substances that either are not, or only barely, biodegradable and that cannot be eliminated, or only incompletely, by soil infiltration.

Subject Headings: Surface water | Artificial recharge | Federal government | Water pollution | Water quality | Groundwater supply | Quality control | Water supply | Germany | Europe

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