Czech republic has to comply with EU-rules on groundwater protection

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The European Commission has requested the Czech Republic to bring its national laws on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration into line with the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC).

Member States had to transpose the Directive into their national legislation by 16 January 2009. The Commission identified shortcomings in the Czech Republic’s transposition of this legislation and sent a letter of formal notice on 20 June 2013.

Unsustainable use of groundwater
Shortages of groundwater resources can be noticed in some regions of the Czech Republic during dry seasons. The groundwater levels are dropping, springs disappearing, discharges of rivers, and streams decreasing. Protected marshland biotopes can be severely damaged as, for example, that has happened in the drainage area of the Pšovka Stream in the area of Kokořín. In several large production areas, a suitable strategy for groundwater use has not been introduced that caused damages on springs and water depending ecosystems and decrease of the total runoff.

Action is needed
The Czech Republic subsequently amended its legislation, but a notable problem remains as regards the method of setting more stringent threshold values in certain cases. The Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. If the Czech Republic fails to act by August 2015, the Commission may refer the Czech Republic to the EU Court of Justice.

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