On 1st January 2007 the Ground Water sub-directive (COM/2003/550) complementing the European Water Framework Directive (COM/2000/60/EC) came into force. These two directives enforce the protection, maintenance and sustainable use of groundwater resources in the European Union. However, today around 750 000 sites are contaminated with substances including hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, and diffuse organic contaminants throughout Europe. Microbial processes can play an important role in the remediation and protection of groundwater resources and there is an urgent need for a better integration of microbial process understanding in current management schemes. Groundwater management must take into account different characteristics and degradation capacities for pollutants and sites, and requires a comprehensive understanding of contaminant fate, degradation pathways, and remediation potentials. Today, in Europe there is a shortage of scientists and environmental engineers with the interdisciplinary understanding of groundwater contaminant behaviour required when embarking on the tasks of protecting and sustainably managing groundwater resources, remediating existing contaminations, and performing risk assessment. The aim of the GOODWATER ITN is to educate a new generation of groundwater professionals with targeted multidisciplinary expertise and process understanding, including microbiological, hydrogeological, chemical, and stable isotope aspects. For this purpose, some of Europe’s most esteemed groundwater experts from the different fields join forces to guarantee a cutting-edge scientific research training platform. The network will offer individual expert training by research, and network-wide training by workshops, summer schools, and laboratory exchange. Moreover, stakeholders from industry and authorities will be involved as associated partners to steer the project towards socio-economic relevance and tutor relevant complementary skills.
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