Public water suppliers in Germany, Europe, and the US have problems with elevated nitrate concentrations in groundwater. Groundwater, however, represents an important drinking water resource, particularly in those regions that have no surface water. It is also well known that high nitrate concentrations in groundwater are associated with adverse health effects and ecosystem damage. Although decreasing in most member states of the EU, there are still regions with high loads of nitrogen, depending on agricultural intensity, including livestock density.
To help solve this environmental health problem, we want to develop a natural attenuation system to remove excess nitrate from drinking water, where only harmless end-products are formed. This target requires efforts of scientific teams with broad interdisciplinary expertise in hydrogeology, isotope geochemistry, and environmental microbiology. The group of Prof. Dr. M. Schloter (Research Unit for Environmental Genomics at the Helmholtz Center Munich) will use their expertise in environmental microbiology and the examination of the genetic diversity, while the Chair of Hydrogeology at TUM will work on technical solutions and the understanding of biogeochemical processes within the N-cycle to develop a cutting-edge method to remove excess nitrate from drinking water.
Prof. Dr. M. Schloter, Helmholtz Center Munich,Research Unit for Environmental Genomics
- International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (IGSSE)
- TUM Graduate School