Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search on EUROPA   
Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To provide reliable and robust methods for assessing and categorising the chemical status of groundwater to improve further the quality of all water bodies.”

The problem

In support of the Water Framework Directive, WFD (2000/60/EC), the Commission has proposed [COM(2003)550] the development of a complementary Groundwater Directive (GWD). This Directive would establish criteria for assessing the chemical status of groundwater (nitrates, pesticides and biocides) and would require Member States to identify pollutant threshold values representative of groundwater bodies found to be at risk. It is necessary to test and describe robust methods of analysis and assessment that can be applied in all Member States.

BRIDGE  Developing a common methodology for the evaluation of groundwater environmental quality


Through EU-wide case studies, BRIDGE will:

  • compile a representative database of groundwater pollutants
  • establish common criteria for the assessment of groundwater chemical status and prepare representative pollutant threshold values
  • assess the socio-economic implications of representative pollutant threshold values

The criteria selected for assessment will incorporate interactions between groundwater and a wide variety of other geological and environmental features.

Contribution to policy development:

  • BRIDGE will enable policy-makers to develop a scientifically and socio-economically robust GWD to complement the WFD
  • It will assist water policy and management stakeholders to develop WFD- and GWD-compliant national strategies.
  • It aid in the development of common standards across Member States.

Project deliverables

  • Preliminary methodology to derive environmental threshold values and identified research gaps – Month 12
  • Threshold values for potentially harmful substances in groundwater – Month 15
  • Five case study reports representing the results of the socio-economic assessments – Month 18
  • Recommendations for setting groundwater thresholds from an integrated environmental and socio-economic perspective – Month 22
  • Proposals for a methodology to set groundwater threshold values across Europe – Month 23
  • Final report – Month 24


  • Regular and routine dissemination of results via a project-specific website on the CIRCA website
    ( – ongoing
  • Specialist workshops – ongoing
  • International conference – Months 12 and 24
  • Proceeding of annual International Conference – Month 14
  • Final summary of recommendations for policy-makers – Month 24
  • Compilation of scientific papers published in international peer-reviewed journals – Month 24

Technical information

Project acronym: BRIDGE
Project’s official full title: Background cRiteria for the Identification of Groundwater thrEsholds
Research priority: 1.5. Environmental assessment (soil, water, air, noise, including the effects of chemical substances)
Specific webpage: None planned
Proposal/contract no: Not available
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: month 1
Completion date: month 24
European Commission scientific officer: Not available

Name: Anne Marie Fouillac, Bureau de Recherche Géologiques et Minières
Abbreviated name: BRGM 
Address: Centre Scientifique et Technique – BRGM
3, avenue Claude Guillemin
BP 6009 - 45060
Orléans Cedex 2
Country: France 
Tel: +33 (0)2 38 64 34 34
Fax: +33 (0)2 38 64 35 18


Name: Umweltbundesamt Gmbh
Short name: UBA-A
Country: Austria 

Name: Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford
Short name: UOXF.AC
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Economics for the Environment Consultancy Ltd
Short name: EFTEC
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Universiteit Gent
Short name: LAGH-UGENT
Country: Belgium

Name: Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Short name: BME
Country: Hungary

Name: Université de Liège, Aquapôle
Short name: ULG
Country: Belgium

Name: Flemish Institute of Technological Research
Short name: VITO
Country: Belgium

Name: Danish Environmental Protection Agency
Short name: DEPA
Country: Denmark

Name: Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse
Short name: GEUS
Country: Denmark

Name: ACTeon
Short name: Acteon
Country: France 

Name: Federal Environmental Agency-Germany
Short name: UBA-D
Country: Germany

Name: Hessisches Landesamt fuer Umwelt und Geologie
Short name: HLUG
Country: Germany

Name: Instituto Geologico y Minero de España
Short name: IGME
Country: Spain   

Name: Environment Agency
Short name: EA
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Suomen ympäristökeskus (Finnish Environment Institute) 
Short name: SYKE
Country: Finland 

Name: National Agricultural Research Council
Short name: NAGREF
Country: Greece 

Name: Autorita’di Bacino del Fiume Tevere 
Short name: ABTEVERE
Country: Italy

Name: Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH 
Short name: fz-juelich
Country: Germany

Name: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Short name: TNO
Country: Netherlands

Name: Universidade de Aveiro
Short name: Uni Aveiro
Country: Portugal

Name: Geological Survey of Lithuania
Short name: LGT
Country: Lithuania

Name: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Short name: IVM
Country: Netherlands

Name: Executive Environment Agency
Short name: EEA
Country: Belgium

Name: University of Tartu
Short name: UT
Country: Estonia 

Name: Application Européenne de Technologies et de Services
Short name: AETS-Apave
Country: France 

Name: Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza 
Short name: DHWP/AGH
Country: Poland 

Name: Office International de l’Eau
Short name: OIEAU
Country: France