Standard Article

Groundwater Protection

Part 13. Groundwater

  1. Fritz Stauffer

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa160

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Stauffer, F. 2009. Groundwater Protection. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 13.

Author Information

  1. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Despite all the technical, legal, and social difficulties, and the costs, which arise or which could arise from restoring contaminated groundwater, it is obvious that the timely protection of the groundwater environment is preferable. National regulations define the framework for the protection of aquifers and especially drinking water wells. On the one hand, there are existing or planned activities, which represent hazards or risks for a particular groundwater environment, and, on the other hand, the aquifers exhibit a certain degree of vulnerability to a wide range of chemical and biological pollutants. Accordingly, the basic steps toward the protection of groundwater environments are (i) characterization of the site under consideration, (ii) assessment of the existing and potential groundwater contaminations or contamination risks, (iii) evaluation of the use of groundwater of the site, and (iv) evaluation and implementation of the groundwater protection measures.


  • groundwater;
  • protection;
  • delineation of protection zones