Harmonised methodology on Groundwater Research 

For developing the common terminology, keywords characterizing research on groundwater have been identified following two approaches:

  1. from the most important EU directives and documents (i.e. the Water Framework Directive, Groundwater Directive and The Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources)
  2. from groundwater related scientific literature, which has been fundamental for identifying relationships and intersections between topics, themes and activities.

To assess the importance and pertinence of the keywords, these have been ranked by performing searches via the Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar search engines.

The complete merged list of keywords consisting of about 200 terms has been organized in a tree hierarchy, identifying three main categories: Societal Challenges (SC), Operational Actions (OA) and Research Topics (RT). In each of these three categories, 5 overarching groups have been defined for easy overview of main research areas, representing level 1.

All identified keywords have been categorized into one of these overarching group in up to three levels ( levels 2, 3 and 4) where appropriate. The classification system previews the interaction among the three main categories through a 3D approach, where along each axis the 5 overarching groups are indicated.

This also results in a 2D representation for each of the Societal Challenges, where Operational Actions and Research Topics intersect in a 5×5 matrix.

Results achieved during WP1 have considered the goal of possible implementation of EU related Directives from the beginning of the project. With this aim, since the first stages of WP1, official EU documents, other EU funded projects, and also reports and documents realized from the technical bodies of the EC e.g. developing the Common Implementation Strategy of the Water Framework Directive, have been taken into account within the structure of the inventory. By this way, the following preliminary list of significant results about the groundwater related aspects relevant for future directive implementation has been selected:

  • the Societal Challenges stated in Horizon 2020 Program are one of the three main categories at the basis of the HRC-SYS;
  • the keywords applied in the classification and listed in the EIGR are coming from a review of the EU official documents;
  • the EIGR requires that each document inserted must be classified in terms of Societal Challenges and by choosing one or more keywords included in the selected list;
  • other indicators for classifying documents are previewed in the EIGR, to facilitate identification and evaluation of trends and gaps, leading to the identification of recommendations for European groundwater research needed for support and development of the common implementation strategy of WFD and GWD and ultimately ensuring good status of all European water bodies and ecosystems to the benefit of human well-being.

For more information on the selection of groundwater related aspects related to the implementation of WFD and GWD, please have look at Deliverable 7.1: Selection of Groundwater Related Aspects Relevant for Implementation of WFD and GWD.