Drinkable deep groundwaters in Austria

Austria map - Drinkable deep groundwaters
Photo: GBA

In the basins of the eastern regions of our federal territory, drinkable deep groundwaters are in many cases the most important, often even the only, source of drinking water.

The Directorate General “Water” charged the Geological Survey of Water (Geologische Bundesanstalt, GBA) with the preparation of an Austria-wide 1:500.000 overview map and the description of the geological and hydro-geological as well as hydrochemical situation of this specific type of drinking water, and for the first time publishes a comprehensive study on the most important resources.

Especially in the basins of Austria’s eastern regions drinkable deep groundwaters are the most important, and often the only, resource for safe supply with hygienically perfect, high-quality deep groundwater for people. As the term "deep groundwater" suggests, these waters are, due to their special hydrogeological situation, usually also very well protected against pollutants of all kinds due to their special hydrogeological situation, and are therefore of great importance for the emergency drinking water supply beyond these regions. However, the high age and the special chemism of these waters allow only limited groundwater renewal, so that withdrawals must be handled very carefully. In addition, existing knowledge deficits are pointed out, which should be worked off in the future for a sustainable use of the deep groundwaters.

After the overview map published in 2009, the Geological Survey of Austria has now completed a "treatise volume" in appreciation of the special nature of these waters including their occurrence in Austria’s geological units and their genetic interpretation. Moreover, the latest information on the tectonic structure of the Eastern Alps is presented in a condensed form.