Greens complain about the lack of a groundwater register – Bavaria

The Greens in the state parliament are calling for a central groundwater register for Bavaria. So far, there has been no register of how much groundwater is withdrawn each year, for example for use in energy production or for agricultural irrigation, the parliamentary group criticized on Thursday, citing the Environment Ministry’s response to a current parliamentary question.

“There are no summarized figures for the sum of all annual withdrawals in Bavaria,” the paper says. Groundwater withdrawal for public water supply increased by around five percent between 2013 and 2019. However, there are no further figures: “There are no Bavaria-wide statistics on water withdrawal for other uses (energy supply, agricultural irrigation, mining and manufacturing).”

“We’re running out of water and the state government isn’t doing anything,” criticized the environmental policy spokesman for the Greens, Christian Hierneis. Groundwater levels have been falling for years. But the state government is sticking its head in the sand. “They can’t act at all because they don’t even know how much groundwater is being extracted in Bavaria, let alone where and by whom.”

Hierneis called for “responsible use of all of our water” and comprehensive groundwater management with a forward-looking water strategy. This included, among other things, a central register for groundwater extraction, sufficient staff for the authorities for regular checks and advice. “We can only adjust the withdrawals and water rights if we know how much water is withdrawn each year. Even in ten, 20, 30 years from now, people in Bavaria will need sufficient water resources.”

According to a low-water status report by the state government, many groundwater levels throughout Bavaria have been at dramatic lows for a long time, the Greens warn. It is high time to act. But an application to introduce a central groundwater register was recently rejected by the CSU and Free Voters in the environmental committee.

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