Berlin Environmental Atlas

02.12 Groundwater Levels and Catchment Areas for Waterworks (Edition 1993)

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Map Description

Groundwater tables in the Berlin area can generally be determined in their hydrogeological conditions in spite of the massive influences exerted on them today. Groundwater flows from the Barnim and Teltow flat upland areas into the Warsaw-Berlin Pleistocene watercourse, with the Spree river as receiving body of water, and from the Nauen Platte into the Haveltal. The extent of changes in this natural flow behavior as well as groundwater table levels depend upon precipitation conditions, but even more upon the influence of groundwater withdrawals and returns.

Map 02.12.1: Groundwater Levels in May 1976 (relatively higher groundwater level)

The water management year 1976 was characterized by low amounts of precipitation (70 % of the 60-year average), and by comprehensive interventions in the groundwater economy.

Groundwater withdrawals reached a new record due to public water supply plants and diverse civil-engineering construction projects (cf. Tab. 1). West Berlin especially showed wide cones of depression resulting from subway construction (Line 7, Fehrbelliner Platz-Spandau) and the city freeway (Innsbrucker Platz). Lowering of groundwater levels in the southern areas of the Wedding borough is due to a private sector construction project. The high(est) values of public groundwater withdrawals in West Berlin are reflected in wide cones of depression under the Jungfernheide and Beelitzhof waterworks. All waterworks operated in their present size, except for the Kuhlake gallery of the Spandau waterworks. 315 larger private sector water supply plants also affected groundwater level gradients noticeably.

No depiction of the entire East Berlin area is possible due to insufficient data bases. The low degree of expansion of the largest waterworks in Friedrichshagen is remarkable. In 1976 only the A-D galleries north of Müggelsee (see = lake) existed (cf. Map 02.11). The large plants south of the lake were put into operation between 1982 and 1984, with increased demands exerted by construction of the new residential areas of Marzahn, Hellersdorf and Hohenschönhausen as well as reduced surface water withdrawals from Müggelsee. The galleries which existed in 1976 withdrew about 14.6 million m³ raw water in May 1976, a record for this month. There are correspondingly large cones of depression around the waterworks.

Large construction projects in East Berlin with groundwater retention reservoirs were mainly in the Mitte borough, at the construction site for the Palace of the Republic, the Charité hospital, various hotels, and the expansion of the Friedrichstraße boulevard. No information is available for amounts withdrawn by private sector water supply plants.

Table 1 - Dummy
[Approx. 25 KB size.]

Tab. 1: Groundwater Withdrawals, Returns and Recharges in West Berlin in 1976, 1988 and 1990

[Table is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

Measures for groundwater recharge and return at construction projects for the stabilization of the groundwater economy were performed in the entire city. This amounted to about 45 million m³ in West Berlin, 52 % of it around the Jungfernheide waterworks, which fed lakes Kuhlake and Saatwinkel. Another 38 % were returned at construction projects (cf. Tab. 1). A groundwater recharge by means of an earth basin was performed in East Berlin around the Johannistal waterworks between 1972 and 1976. Infiltrated amounts in 1973 were 1.5 million m³. Groundwater has been recharged by the Stolpe waterworks into the bordering Havelwiese since 1974. The amounts flow to recharge by natural slope and amount to about 6 million m³/year.

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