NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring

The NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring provides a nationally representative picture of the situation and development of the groundwater resources in terms of both quality and quantity.

Within the framework of the NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring, the FOEN records the state of and changes in the groundwater resources at more than 600 monitoring sites in Switzerland. The natural conditions and the impact of human activity on the typical aquifers of Switzerland are monitored.

The purpose of the National Groundwater Monitoring is to:

  • document the situation and development of groundwater quality and quantity at national level;
  • detect the occurrence of problematic substances at an early stage and to systematically follow up any undesirable developments;
  • check the effectiveness of protective measures already adopted (e.g. ecological measures in agriculture) and identify the need for further measures; and
  • characterise and classify the most important groundwater resources in Switzerland.

NAQUA forms the basis for nationally coordinated protection of groundwater as a natural resource in Switzerland and ultimately helps to protect the public from harmful organisms and substances. The collected data are used in national and international reporting.

The monitoring network of the National Groundwater Monitoring consists of four modules: QUANT, SPEZ, TREND and ISOT. The QUANT module measures groundwater quantity, while the SPEZ and TREND modules measure groundwater quality. The ISOT module monitors stable water isotopes in precipitation and watercourses.

QUANT module

The QUANT module of the NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring records the state and variation of groundwater quantity across the country.

TREND and SPEZ modules

The TREND and SPEZ modules of the NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring record the state of and changes in groundwater quality across the Switzerland.

ISOT module

The ISOT module of the NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring records changes over time in stable water isotopes oxygen-18 and deuterium in watercourses and precipitation at selected monitoring sites.

Legal basis

The legislation requires the federal government to collect data on environmental pollution (Constitution Art. 65, Environmental Protection Act, Art. 44), water quality and hydrologic conditions in Switzerland (Water Protection Act Art. 57) and to inform the public of the results (Environmental Protection Act Art. 10e, Water Protection Act Art. 50 & Art. 57). The NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring carries out these federal functions in relation to groundwater.

Further information

Documents

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Last modification 22.08.2018

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