Activities in water extraction and groundwater protection areas

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 31 Jan 2023
1 min read
Nederlandse versie

Do you want to carry out activities in water extraction areas, groundwater protection areas, or drilling exclusion zones? These areas are protected. You must apply for a dispensation or submit a notification to the provincial authorities.

Find out more or arrange now

at your municipality, province, or water authority

Certain activities are not allowed:

  • In a water extraction area the water company extracts water for use as drinking water. The water extraction area is protected by strict regulations. Only groundwater can be extracted in this protected area. Other activities are not allowed.
  • A groundwater protection area is the area just outside the water extraction area. More activities are permitted in this area than in groundwater extraction zones. Establishment in groundwater protection areas of certain industries is not allowed.
  • Drilling exclusion zones are usually just outside the groundwater protection area. Drilling and digging more than a few metres may be banned.

The provincial authorities establish land use regulations in water extraction areas, groundwater protection areas, and drilling exclusion zones. These environmental regulations are laid down in Provincial Environmental Acts (Provinciale Omgevingsverordeningen, POVs).

You can find the location of water extraction areas and groundwater protection areas on the Atlas Leefomgeving map (Atlas of living environment, in Dutch). Blue road signs reading 'waterwingebied' (water extraction area) or 'grondwaterbeschermingsgebied' (groundwater protection area) are used to designate these areas.

Dispensation or notification

Have you planned works in water extraction areas, groundwater protection areas, or drilling exclusion zones? You will need dispensation from the provincial authority. In some cases you only have to notify the provincial authority in advance.

Online application procedure via Message Box

You can apply for dispensation to carry out activities in a water extraction area or a groundwater protection area also online via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO