Zones de protection des captages d’eau

In European Union, there are a lot regulatory zoning in order to protect water abtractions. Water used for the drinking water abstractions is targeted, in particular, in Article 7 of the Water Framework Directive.

It is written that “Member States shall ensure the necessary protection for the bodies of water identified with the aim of avoiding deterioration in their quality in order to reduce the level of purification treatment required in the production of drinking water. Member States may establish safeguard zones for those bodies of water”.

A guidance, realized in 2011, enables to give explanations concerning the obligations to protect the zones feeding groundwater and especially the requirements regarding areas of protection of drinking water abstractions (DWPAs : Drinking Water Protected Areas) :

 Thus, in Europe, depending on the country, the protection of drinking water abstractions against point source or non-point source pollution, is generally based on different perimeters in which some action plans can be established. The aim (preservation of water resource) remains the same, but some differences can be found in terms of means of actions, of regulation or definition of the perimeters.

  In 2015, a survey carried out by International Office for Water (IOW) entitled “Protection of the whole catchments providing drinking water - Study of practices in Europe”, Siauve S., Amorsi N., gives some answers concerning these topics. 

  Leaning on this survey, we focused on some European countries.


Zones de protection des captages au Royaume-Uni                        Zones de protection des captages en Allemagne                            Zones de protection des captages en Espagne


To go further, see the report on World Health Organization’s website : which illustrates the diversity of protection areas throughout the world for groundwater.  

 We can also quote the book: « Perímetros de protección para captaciones de agua subterránea destinada al consume humano. Metodología y aplicación al territorio », Martínez Navarrete C. and García García Á., IGME (2003) which introduces a lot of diagrams on protection areas of abstractions around the world. This book is available here.