About the catchment area
The Danish Actionlab is located in the north-western part of Denmark, where the local waterworks Vester Hjerk (in the municipality of Skive) has an abstraction license of 30,000 m3/year and supply the local community with drinking water purely based on groundwater.
Covering 85% of the area, intensively managed agriculture is the dominating land use, and both nitrate and pesticides poses a potential risk for the drinking water.
The geology generally consists of a quaternary sequence of limited depths overlaying nearly impermeable pre-quaternary clays. Close to the waterworks, buried valleys are found to substantial depth, primarily with clay in-fill. Water is abstracted from two wells screened in a shallow sandy aquifer between 20 and 30m below the surface, which are only moderately protected by a capping clay layer.
The capture zone of the waterworks has been identified as a nitrate vulnerable zone and since the 1980’ties the nitrate concentration has been steadily increasing. In recent years, the nitrate concentration has exceeded 50 mg NO3/l in a few samples and in the past 10 years it has generally been above 37.5 mg NO3/l, which is the limit at which actions must be taken according to the WFD.