The study examines the Project Infiltration Maaswater (PIM) in the Netherlands to limit desiccation caused by the lowering of the water table through excessive groundwater abstraction. The PIM project is an initiative of a drinking-water supply company to change from using groundwater to purified and filtered surface water. However, groundwater abstraction is more economically viable than this treatment at current prices. In order to
alleviate the environmental pressures caused by groundwater use, the Government of the Netherlands is using a number of measures to help close the profitability gap between these two alternatives in order to make the treatment of surface water a more viable option.
First, the PIM project is being financially supported — partly through European Union funds and partly by the Dutch government through their classification of it as a green project so that investments in green funds that support it can be exempt from tax.
Secondly, most provinces have introduced groundwater-abstraction levies, and the central government has also been taxing water abstraction since 1995.
Thirdly, permits are now required for groundwater and only a limited number are available in most provinces.
Finally, groundwater abstraction will be completely abolished or reduced in three locations.