Island Tunø, DK
The Danish drinking water supply is entirely based on groundwater. The government’s official position is that drinking water should be based on good quality groundwater, which only needs simple treatment (e.g. aeration and filtration) before it is distributed to the consumers.
Tunø is a small island of 3.52 square kilometer in Aarhus Bay in the Kattegat Sea in the central part of Denmark. Agriculture is the mainstays of the island’s economy, and the main crops are vegetables with a high level of nitrate leaching. In addition, during the summer months, there is a considerable influx of tourist to the summer cottages and the marina.
The Tunø case is a successful example of groundwater protection on a small island with one small waterworks where the aquifer is vulnerable to nitrate pollution and salt-water intrusion. The case will be used as a “lesson learned” and the following objectives has been identified with Tunø.
- How to achieve farmer commitment to solve drinking water problems?
- How to sustain a long-term project under changing administrative structures (long-term project management > 20 years)?
- How to get measures accepted by farmers (including time to accept)?
- How is farming practice affecting nitrate in groundwater?
- Is the current groundwater protection strategy the most cost-effective?
How protection zones and land management restored nitrate contaminated groundwater on the Island of Tunø
Tunø is an example of successful groundwater protection on a small island with one small waterworks where the aquifer is vulnerable to nitrate pollution and salt-water intrusion. The case provides valuable lessons learned.
Five working hypotheses have been developed to assist the various groups of stakeholders achieve a common goal.
Based on practical experience, three Danish farmers from the FAIRWAY case study of Aalborg make recommendations which they believe can ease groundwater protection processes when nitrate and /or pesticide restrictions are discussed for agricultural land.