Research project

GENESIS: developing new tools to manage groundwater and dependent ecosystems

Groundwater resources face increasing pressure from consumption and pollution. This project developed methods and tools for integrated groundwater management and monitoring in Europe.

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Start date

January 2009

Completion date

December 2014



European Commission FP7 programme

Human land use and water consumption are affecting groundwater quality and quantity in many parts of the world. This affects dependent communities and wetland and riverine ecosystems. There are major concerns about future availability of this resource in a world with increasing demand for food and animal protein requiring large amounts of water. 

This project brought together 25 partners with different specialisms, from 17 countries. We studied European groundwater systems in their bio-physical, ecological, socio-economic and legal context, to understand:

  • How ecosystems depend on groundwater.
  • How pollutants travel from source to recipient ecosystems.
  • How land-use and climate changes affect groundwater.
  • How stakeholders and end-users can better manage and monitor groundwater systems.

Our analysis provided input to revision of the EU Groundwater Directive, including guidelines for ecosystem protection and monitoring, indicators to test vulnerability and best management practices to reduce pollution.


Project lead(s)

Andrew Allan

External team members

Norsk Institutt for Biookonomi (NIBIO)

University of Oulu

Joanneum Research Institute

ETH Zurich

Lulea TEchnical University

University of Bucharest


Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement

Stichting Wageningen Research

Helmholtz Centre, Leipzig


AGH Krakow

Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM)

Universitat Politecnica de Valencia

Democritus University

Politechnika Krakowska

University of Neuchatel

Ferrara University

Athens University of Economics and Business


University of Manchester

Christian Albrechts University, Kiel

University of Bologna

TU Munich