The Commission proposal of Groundwater Directive COM(2003)550 developed under Article 17 of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) sets out criteria for the assessment of the chemical status of groundwater, which is based on existing Community quality standards (nitrates, pesticides and biocides) and on the requirement for Member States to identify pollutants and threshold values that are representative of groundwater bodies found as being at risk, in accordance with the analysis of pressures and impacts carried out under the WFD.In the light of the above, the objectives of BRIDGE are : i) to study and gather scientific outputs which could be used to set out criteria for the assessment of the chemical status of groundwater, ii) to derive a plausible general approach, how to structure relevant criteria appropriately with the aim to set representative groundwater threshold values scientifically sound and defined at national river basin district or groundwater body level, iii) to check the applicability and validity by means of case studies at European scale, iv) to undertake additional research studies to complete the available data,v) and to carry out an environmental impact assessment taking into account the economic and social impacts. The project shall be carried out at European level, involving a range of stakeholders and efficiently linking the scientific and policy-making communities.Considering the requirement of the diary of the Groundwater Daughter Directive proposal, which implies that groundwater pollutants and related threshold values should be identified before December 2005 and listed by June 2006, the duration of the project should be 24 months. In that way the proposed research will contribute to provide research elements that will be indispensable for preparing discussions on further steps of the future Groundwater Directive.
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