Groundwater quality and its monitoring in the Baltic States
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In the Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — groundwater is the principal and only source of clean drinking water. Its safe yield is rather large — 6.7 mln m3/d. At present, consumption does not reach half of this amount. Therefore, the resources available will be sufficient for a rather remote future, provided that groundwater is not polluted. Under Soviet rule, insufficient attention was paid to ecological problems in the Baltic States. As a result, due to constantly increasing surface pollution, groundwater quality is decreasing. The topmost, unconfined aquifer is unfit for use, especially in many urbanized areas. Moreover, pollutants, especially organics, are starting to enter the lower, artesian aquifers. To determine and forecast groundwater quality, a monitoring system has been worked out. However, in order to protect groundwater, besides monitoring, new laws, regulations, and guarantees for their implementation are necessary.
KeywordsUrbanized Area Drinking Water Environmental Management Monitoring System Groundwater Quality
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