FOKS : Focus on Key Sources of Environmental Risks

Groundwater risk management

FOKS deals with management of groundwater pollution by priority industrial pollutants. It’s general approach to take up innovative tools and strategies developed by recent research and to transfer them to daily practice in groundwater risk management. This strategy facilitates fast implementation and optimal use of research results and it allows the water authorities to build their practical work on a sound scientific basis. It is needed, as there is still a wide gap between expectations concerning the groundwater quality and technical, as well as economic, feasibility of groundwater cleanup. Some EU countries have problems with identification, assessment and management of contaminated groundwater bodies. In the case of many industrial areas even large invested funds do not ensure the expected improvement of the groundwater quality. Therefore, it is essential to provide innovative technical and administrative tools for groundwater management at industrially contaminated areas.

Project objectives

The FOKS project general objective is to focus the remediation efforts in degraded areas on the key sources of contamination. Specific objectives of FOKS project are:

  • demonstration and application of innovative tools for integral groundwater risk management on degraded areas such as contaminated sites and brownfields
  • prioritization of  mitigation measures on key sources of groundwater and soil contamination
  • performing of pilot applications and proposing the concepts for source remediation activities
  • downscaling the cornerstones of EU Groundwater Directive for the scale of contaminated sites and brownfields

Contribution to implementation of GWD

FOKS aims at the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) on national, regional and local level. Especially the new principles of the view on larger areas and water bodies require new and innovative implementation strategies. The FOKS concept to focus remediation efforts on the key sources of large groundwater contaminations perfectly fits to this European strategy. FOKS therefore provides required technical strategies and decision tools for the local implementation of the new principles. Due to the partnership of local, regional and national level a balanced procedure and a common understanding will be achieved.

Impact of the project

FOKS will improve the quality of the groundwater resources as essential part of the environment (e.g. used for drinking water purposes) and will lead to a better protection of the environment by cleaning of existing groundwater damages and by removing sources of contaminated soils. By this furthermore a better use of degraded areas will be targeted. This requires the development of monitoring systems as a basis for preventing negative impacts and for taking mitigation measures. Focussing on the key sources of contamination and the use of innovative techniques leads to a higher efficiency of the remediation efforts. FOKS provides the decision support system required by the local authorities for the focus process.

The environmental remediation measures open the possibility of investment as a basis for a sustainable and healthy growth in disadvantaged territories like contaminated sites and brownfields. FOKS will contribute to an adjustment of territorial disparities by mutual interaction and cooperation in the field of environmental management, administrative work and by implementation of innovative, advanced procedures. Their joint application leads to a better integration of different levels of administration with different functioning and experiences in the decision procedures. The project team consists of research institutes and municipalities which were involved in recent research and water authorities ready to make use of this experience. The partnership of municipal, regional and national level will facilitate the accessibility and implementation of results on the different administrative levels. The transnational cooperation is needed to safeguard the transferability of the concept.


All project results will be public and free available, no protection by intellectual property rights is foreseen.

The involvement both of metropolitan cities and medium sized cities from different counties will lead to a mutual adjustment of concepts for the development of environmental protection strategies in the different regions and countries. Due to the special emphasis on the communication and dissemination management FOKS contributes in particular to the networking, integration and territorial cohesion.

Key facts about FOKS project: