Indicator water

High groundwater levels and spring discharge rates

The indicator provides a national overview of the frequency of unusually high groundwater conditions year on year. If the groundwater level becomes extremely high due to above-average precipitation, substantial damage can be caused to landscapes and buildings. Moreover, this can trigger near-surface landslips and mudslides. Based on the CH2018 climate scenarios, it must be assumed that precipitation intensity and strength will tend to increase long term and high groundwater levels and spring discharge rates as defined in the indicator may occur more frequently.

Assessment of the state
impossible to evaluate impossible to evaluate
Assessment of the trend
impossible to evaluate impossible to evaluate
Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2018: 22.2222222222222 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2017: 6.66666666666667 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2016: 61.3636363636364 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2015: 28.8888888888889 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2014: 40 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2013: 68.8888888888889 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2012: 55.5555555555556 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2011: 13.3333333333333 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2010: 22.2222222222222 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2009: 26.6666666666667 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2008: 31.8181818181818 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2007: 52.3809523809524 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2006: 51.1627906976744 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2005: 9.09090909090909 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2004: 18.1818181818182 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2003: 31.8181818181818 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2002: 70.4545454545455 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2001: 88.8888888888889 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 2000: 54.5454545454545 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1999: 76.7441860465116 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1998: 11.9047619047619 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1997: 10 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1996: 12.1951219512195 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1995: 70.7317073170732 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1994: 39.0243902439024 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1993: 27.7777777777778 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1992: 34.2857142857143 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1991: 8.57142857142857 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1990: 12.5 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1989: 10 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1988: 64.2857142857143 Monitoring stations with an above-average number of days on which high groundwater levels and high spring discharge rates are recorded, in % 1987: 67.8571428571429

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Federal Office for the Environment
Comment

In 1987/1988, 1995, 1999–2002, 2006/2007, 2012/2013 and 2016 the indicator was above 50%, i.e. the majority of NAQUA-QUANT monitoring stations recorded above-average days with high groundwater levels and/or spring discharge rates. The floods of 1999 and the prolonged precipitation surplus from 2000 to 2002 resulted in unusually high values for the indicator. A long-term trend cannot yet be detected. Periods of several years with high groundwater levels and spring discharge rates are succeeded by periods of several years with normal or low levels and discharges. For this reason the indicator is not evaluated.

International comparison

At present there is no standardised indicator in international indicator systems such as the EEA. Similar approaches are now being pursued in various countries (e.g. Belgium, Austria).

Method

Groundwater levels and spring discharge rates are continuously recorded at the monitoring stations in the National Groundwater Monitoring NAQUA, QUANT module (some 50 FOEN monitoring stations and 50 cantonal stations). The indicator includes calculation of the annual number of monitoring stations with an above-average number of days with high groundwater levels and/or spring discharge rates. The daily averages are determined at each individual monitoring station and compared with the corresponding monthly average over 20 years of monitoring. If the number of days on which the groundwater level and/or spring discharge rate is above the mean monthly 90th percentile on average over the 20 year period, the groundwater conditions at the monitoring station are described as "high". The indicator defines the percentage of these monitoring stations in the relevant year.

 
Last updated on: 25.07.2019

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