Problems to be solved
Groundwater pollution in industrialised sites is a general problem in a variety of European cities. Most of them are located in river basins and use groundwater for water supply from local shallow aquifer systems. Within the last decades changes in land use and ownership have resulted in complex contamination patterns, such as heterogeneous distribution of contaminants, different contaminants and large subsurface areas. Industrial development and the need for groundwater conservation are in acute conflict. Today, large amounts of private and public money are spent to identify and assess point sources of contamination without being able to reliably quantify their impact on the groundwater quality; numerous remediation schemes are operated without an economical evaluation of their long-term performance. Throughout Europe numerous guidelines and directives exist at the national level, focussing on the characterisation and evaluation of individual sites - but none of the approaches is applicable to industrial regions as a whole. The INCORE approach supports the revitalisation of urban industrial land inline with the Aalborg Charter of European Cities and Towns Towards Sustainability. Major impacts deriving from contaminated land are groundwater contamination and restrictions to land use. INCORE emphasises the sustainable use of groundwater resources in line with the key objectives of EU water policy.
Scientific objectives and approach
INCORE aims at providing a cost-efficient technical-administrative set of tools to optimise investigation, evaluation and management of contaminated groundwater and land in urban industrial areas, considering regional aspects such as complex land-use patterns, land-use specific contamination and the extent of urban industrial areas. This will allow the revitalisation of groundwater resources and soil in these areas. Innovation of current scientific, technical, economic and administrative methodologies will be tackled.
INCORE focuses on the development and partial implementation of an new approach to contaminated land assessment and revitalisation in urban industrial areas comprising three cycles:
(a) the investigation of groundwater contamination emission at the scale of entire sites,
(b) the evaluation of the contamination source zones and
(c) the development of emission oriented remediation strategies. The major advantage of the new approach is that the number of sites to be considered is reduced within each cycle. Furthermore cost-effective revitalisation measures could be implemented based on the level of tolerable groundwater emissions. To achieve the projects goals following deliverables have been defined which will deliver the necessary methods/tools for the implementation of the new cyclic approach: Application strategies and recommendations for investigation of contaminated groundwater and land in industrialised urban areas. Methodology for optimal selection, combination and application of innovative remediation technologies. Recommendations to harmonise, improve and accelerate administrative work with respect to PPP-Models in the integral abatement of water pollution from contaminated land, landfills and sediments in Europe.
INCORE will develop new technical and administrative tools under real-world conditions to provide an important basis for the development of future EU directives on contaminated land assessment. Economic impact of revitalisation process is expected by providing incentives for new business settlements in traditional "brownfields" avoiding the settling down in "green field" areas. The public authorities will be given the chance to solve negative site aspects, improve and regain the quality of life and environment in urban areas by achieving and maintaining regional groundwater at high quality, supporting the sustainable use and conservation of regional groundwater resources, and furthermore sustainable develop their city.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
40 833 Katowice