DENMARK: Copenhagen ‘discovers’ drinking water reserves

Copenhagen will conduct more research into the feasibility of using its own groundwater reserves for drinking water. The city currently imports all of its drinking water from other areas of the country.

“Research showed that there might be reserves that we didn’t know about, of groundwater that would offer good quality drinking water,” a Copenhagen municipality spokesperson told edie.

Preparations by Copenhagen’s environmental protection agency for the city’s first water management plan led to the discovery of potential drinking water reserves within the city boundaries, in an area called Brœnsœj.

Some officials are hopeful that Brœnsœj will yield good quality drinking water because a small municipality that is within Copenhagen – called Frederiksborg, essentially a municipality within a municipality – already gets some of its drinking water from within its borders.

One of the reasons why Copenhagen is investigating the use of its own groundwater reserves for drinking water has to do with its failure, thus far, to ban the use of pesticides in parts of Denmark that are close to drinking water plants that supply the capital. A draft of the country’s second generation policy on drinking water quality did not include the ban Copenhagen had sought. “We told the national environmental protection agency that we weren’t happy with it because it doesn’t stop the use of pesticides in areas near drinking water plants [that supply Copenhagen],” says the spokesperson. A final version of the national policy is due within the next month.

Other aspects of Copenhagen’s water management plan will focus on reducing leakage from water distribution systems and mounting a public awareness campaign to convince the city’s inhabitants not to use pesticides. “The municipality decided not to use pesticides at all on land owned by it in 1996. Now, we have to convince the inhabitants not to buy pesticides for their gardens,” says the spokesperson.

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