Spatially Distributed Leaching Modelling (SDLM)

(August 2019)

The European Spatially Distributed Leaching Modelling initiative was started in 2019 by a group of interested scientists working in the area of spatially distributed modelling. The initiators come from public research institutes (Wageningen University & Research, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft), contract research institutes (Waterborn) and industry (ECPA companies) and are in dialog with representatives of European national regulatory authorities that are interested in the initiative.  

The goal is to establish a standard SDLM method to be used according to the FOCUS groundwater tiered approach (FOCUS, 2014, Sanco/13144/2010, version 3, 10 October 2014 ) where this is foreseen as Tier 3b.  It should also support groundwater monitoring which is included as Tier 4 in the FOCUS tiered approach.

The necessity for a harmonized framework for SDLM is also indicated in the publication of the SETAC EMAG-PEST GW working group where guidance on how to conduct monitoring studies is given (Gimsing, A.L., Agert, J., Baran, N. et al., J Consum Prot Food Saf (2019) 14(Suppl 1): "Conducting groundwater monitoring studies in Europe for pesticide active substances and their metabolites in the context of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009"). Therefore, this initiative is also welcomed by this SETAC working group as well as a number of regulators that are organised in the informal European Regulatory Network on Pesticide Groundwater Monitoring.

Note that, through this page, ESDAC intends to facilitate this initiative, as it is clearly linked to the FOCUS content available from ESDAC.


First SDLM Workshop, Ghent, 24 May 2019

On 24 May 2019, a workshop was held in Ghent. The workshop consisted of international experts in GIS and groundwater modelling and was attended by representatives from academia, regulatory authorities, research institutes, contract organisations and industry.  The workshop was convened by the SDLM initiators in response to resolutions passed at the 9th European Modelling workshop in 2018 in Copenhagen where it was stated that a dialog is needed on a spatial modelling framework for selecting appropriate monitoring sites, setting existing sites into context and requirements on input and output of appropriate spatially-distributed models .It was also concluded that version control is needed for high-resolution spatial databases for the EU. Due to the lack of guidance in this area the workshop was organized to discuss the necessity and a strategy to develop guidance to establish SDLM as a standard method following a harmonized and well-accepted approach.

(28 August 2019) Report for this workshop.

Contacts for this initiative: Bernhard Jene <>, Erik van den Berg <>

Contact for the contents of this web page: VAN LIEDEKERKE Marc (JRC-ISPRA) <>

SDLM initiators: Erik van den Berg, Michael Klein, Gerco Hoogewegg, Paul Sweeney, Robin Sur, Bernhard Jene