Original Articles


  • Institute of Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101

Received date: 1998-10-01

  Online published: 1998-12-24


The German experiences with the conservation areas for drinking water resources are used for reference in Europe and North America. Compared to 82 millions people and nearly 20 000 water conservation areas in Germany, China has 1 200 millions people and only a few hundred water conservation areas. The possibility of establishing conservation areas for drinking water in China was created under the Law on Wastewater Prevention and Treatment of May 11, 1984. For lack of experiences, many water conservation areas in China have not worked properly in reality. These are the background to report the German experiences in this paper. There are three types of DVGW-Regulations for the water conservation areas in Germany, the DVGW-Regulations for groundwater, for reservoirs and for lakes. There are no DVGW-Regulations for rivers, because the river water quality is usually too bad according to the German drinkwater standards: the quality-class of surface water used as drinking water resources should be class one. Secondly river conservation areas would be too large because of the dynamic characteristic of river and thus too difficult to control. Generally, the total catchment areas of the abstraction should be designated as the water conservation areas. A water conservation areas is divided into three subareas, which are classified as Zone Ⅰ (or ⅠA, ⅠB), Zone Ⅱ (or ⅡA, ⅡB) and Zone Ⅲ (or ⅢA, ⅢB). Zone ⅠA, the so-called Inner Zone, is the most important, while Zone ⅢB is the last class. The protection of the subareas is different: it gains intensiver from Zone Ⅲ to Zone Ⅰ, in ⅠA any landuse is forbidden. In Germany drinkwater is definited as the No.1 of all necessaries of life, this is the condition No.1 for using water conservation areas. For instance, the state Baden-Wuerttemberg subsidizes the peasants for short crop caused through the restrictions on pesticide and fertilizer use by the government, which suggests the ecological agriculture for the peasants in water conservation areas. By landuse planning the ground filtration and natural sedimentation process in (ground) water are taken into account, for example the famous isochron of 50-day trave time, found by Dr.M.Knorr. His experiments showed no pathogenic bacteria and pathogen could live more than 50 days in ground water flow, therefore the distance travelled by the ground water flow to the abstraction in 50 days was set as the distance from the Zone Ⅱ boundary. The 50-days isochron philosophy is used in the conservation areas for surface water also. The catchment area protection is a key factor for assuring success of a water conservation areas. One task of the Action Program Rhine is to protect the water conservation areas near the river bank of the Rhine.

Cite this article

Li Jianxin . THE CONSERVATION AREAS FOR DRINKING WATERRESOURCES IN GERMANY[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 1998 , 17(4) : 90 -99 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.1998.04.012