Denmark Denmark Denmark Denmark

Salt intrusion Denmark


In Denmark, high drinking quality is obtained primarily from groundwater sources (99%). Only in a few areas, such as smaller islands (e.g., Samsø) and along low-lying coasts (e.g., Køge Bugt on Zeeland), is seawater intrusion into freshwater aquifers a problem (1).

Along low-lying coasts, the intrusion of salt water may affect the quality of groundwater. With a rising sea level, salt penetration would present a greater risk, which may lead to limitations on water-extraction possibilities in more places than is the case today (2). However, it is the increasing pressure associated with groundwater withdrawal, which is expected to generate most pressure on freshwater supplies and result in significant salinisation (1).

Salt water intrusion due to sea-level rise is mostly a very slow process that may take several centuries to reach equilibrium (3). Even small rates of groundwater pumping from coastal aquifers are expected to lead to stronger salinization of the groundwater than sea-level rise during the 21st century (4).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Denmark.

  1. Fenger (2000)
  2. Danish Ministry of the Environment (2005)
  3. Webb and Howard (2011), in: IPCC (2014)
  4. Ferguson and Gleeson (2012); Loaiciga et al. (2012), both in: IPCC (2014)

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