Water protection

The objective is to safeguard the groundwater of the capital area's water protection zones and thereby ensure the highest safety and quality of untreated drinking water in the capital area for the future.

About the water protection area

The capital area is situated on the edge of a vast field of lava and gray basalt. The bedrock is highly porous, absorbing nearly all precipitation. Therefore, most rainfall in the capital area flows to the sea through groundwater currents.

The main water protection area extends from Bláfjöll in the northwest to the urban limits of the area. In the southwest, it reaches the borders with Vatnsleysustrandarhreppur, in the south to the borders with Grindavík, and in the east to the borders with the municipality of Ölfus

Classification of the protection area

The water protection area is divided into four categories based on the protection requirements.

Wellhead area; is in the immediate vicinity of the water extraction site, completely off-limits for unrelated traffic, construction, and activities except for those conducted by the water utility.

Buffer area; follows the wellhead area, and its size is dictated by the sensitivity of the area concerning factors like permeability and cracks. All construction and activities that could threaten the security of water collection are prohibited.

Extended area; is the main catchment area for groundwater currents and all land use must comply with water protection stipulations.

Safety area; use should be in accordance with planning plans, and activities that could cause pollution are not permitted.

Regulatory framework

The water protection area of the capital area is governed by Resolution No. 555/2015, with the objective to ensure the protection of groundwater so that the quality of drinking water at the source always satisfies the demands of current legislation.

This enhances the long-term purity and quality of untreated drinking water in the capital area by preventing undesired impacts from activities, operations, and actions on the water protection zones of the water sources in the area.

All municipalities in the capital area collaborate on this Resolution. The three public health authorities s in the capital area constitute a directorate that oversees the water protection area.

Water Conservation Directorate

Meeting minutes and annual reports of the Water Conservation Directorate in the capital area.

Reykjavík Public Health Authority

Inquiries or suggestions