MONET 2030: Nitrate in groundwater


SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Excerpt from Swiss target 6.1: Switzerland ensures the preservation of groundwater resources to guarantee the quality of its drinking water in the long term […].

Significance of the indicator:
The indicator shows the percentage of monitoring sites where the recorded nitrate concentrations in groundwater exceed the legal requirements. In terms of quantity, nitrate is the greatest groundwater pollutant and also acts as a control substance for other pollutants such as pesticides. Too much nitrate in the water can be harmful to human health and in areas low in nutrients such as swamps, can have a negative impact on the ecological balance. As the vast majority of Switzerland’s drinking water comes from groundwater, a reduction in the indicator is positive for sustainable development.

Help for interpretation
Nitrate enters groundwater mainly through the use of nitrogenous fertilisers in farming. Nitrate concentration is highest in intensively farmed areas. 

International comparability
The indicator cannot be compared at international level, as each country has different thresholds.


Tables

Methodology

The nitrate concentration in Switzerland’s groundwater is recorded at national level in the NAQUA National Groundwater Monitoring. The NAQUA monitoring network consists of 545 monitoring sites and is run by the FOEN in close cooperation with the cantonal offices. The maximum annual values for each NAQUA monitoring sites are used for the statistical analysis.

Targets

Excerpt from Swiss target 6.1: Switzerland ensures the preservation of groundwater resources to guarantee the quality of its drinking water in the long term […].

International target 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Environment, Sustainable Development, Territory
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

Contact

Remark

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https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/sustainable-development/monet-2030/all-indicators/6-eau/nitrate-groundwater.html