The project AQUARIUS will focus on tracing and balancing significant point and non-point sources of water pollution and its origins including evaluating the current/typical and alternative waste water treatment methods, aiming at minimizing surface and groundwater pollution. Attention will be turned to reveal the true concentration/load dynamics of main nutrients and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), for which the factors/parameters of the related processes will be assessed.

The project will assess and suggest cost effective land and agricultural management actions or measures and waste water treatment technologies, including the use of constructed wetlands, to enhance landscape´s retaining water potential and to reduce input of pollutants into waters. Both for water quantity and quality, methods of continuous monitoring will be employed in submerged hydrological and hydrogeological units of various scales (from tens of hectares to tens of km²). Results from monitoring will serve as a base for modelling approach within a catchment area. Short term events as well as long term water balance will be modelled to distinguish and quantify runoff components and pollution being transported by them. Models will simulate diverse scenarios of land use, agricultural management, wastewater technologies and involvement of various biotechnical measures to increase water retention time in a catchment and to enhance surface and groundwater quality. For PPCPs, processes responsible for leaching, movement and fate of these substances in vadose zone and aquifers will be revealed.

Findings and water quality improvement options, which will be achieved in the proposed project, are unknown in the Czech Republic as well as partly in Norway, although they are of a crucial importance for achieving obligatory targets, set by Water Framework Directive (WFD), Nitrate Directive and Groundwater Directive. The project outcomes are necessary for completing conceptual and expert documents and guidelines for soil and water conservative management and proper wastewater treatment in a catchment as well as for planning of land use within areas used as water supply sources.