Abstract

Demand for water is steadily rising due to high population growth coupled with continuing urbanization and industrialization. Limited surface water availability makes water supplies increasingly dependent on groundwater. With growing dependence on groundwater, groundwater quality and availability are becoming an increasingly important issue. Once groundwater is contaminated, pollutants rest in the contaminated aquifer semi-permanently, requiring enormous efforts and costs for remediation, apart from the fact that it is technically impossible to restore contaminated water to its natural state. Therefore, the importance of preventing groundwater contamination cannot be overstated. In this regard, it is of paramount importance for sustainable and efficient management of groundwater resources to regulate it with clearly formulated provisions in pertinent laws and regulations. Worldwide, groundwater remediation is usually done in conjunction with soil remediation. In Republic of Korea, too, groundwater remediation is performed mostly as part of soil remediation projects. In this study, we compare and analyze two domestic laws directly associated with groundwater remediation, namely, the Soil Environment Conservation Act and the Groundwater Act. On the basis of the analysis results, we sought strategic measures for strengthening nationwide groundwater quality management.

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