Landau, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany


In the south-west of Germany close to Landau in der Pfalz, we are focusing on understanding the ecology of groundwater in the region. Therefore, we are looking at the catchment area of the river Queich, which stretches from the Palatinate Forest, where it rises, to the Rhine river (map). The area is a well-known wine-growing landscape (photo). Especially towards the Palatinate Forest, wine is mostly grown at small-scale. Following the river towards the Rhine valley, farms predominantly grow vegetables. These irrigation-intensive special crops as well as hot and dry summers increase the demand for irrigation water in the region. The increased water withdrawal and reduced groundwater recharge that has been observed in the region for years is causing groundwater levels to drop in many places. This can lead to infiltration of surface water into the groundwater, raising the risk of pollution.


The overall goal is to generate new knowledge on the ecology of groundwater fauna. On this basis, ecological indicators are to be further developed that can contribute to improving groundwater monitoring schemes in the Water Framework Directive after 2027.

Course of the river Queich in Rheinland-Pfalz. (Source:
Vineyards in Rheinland-Pfalz. (Photo: Anne Jäger)


Quality (groundwater ecology)

  • Which effects do sinking groundwater tables have on groundwater fauna?
  • How do different forms of land use (forest, special crops, settlements etc.) affect the groundwater fauna?