A negotiation support system (NSS) was developed to solve groundwater conflicts that arose during land-use management. It was set up in cooperation with the stakeholders involved to provide information on the impact of land use, e.g., agriculture, nature (forested areas), recreation, and urban areas, on the quality of both infiltrating and abstracted groundwater. This NSS combined simulation programs that calculate (1) the concentrations of nitrate in shallow groundwater for each land-use area and (2) the transport of nitrate in the groundwater-saturated zone. The user interface of the NSS enabled scenario analyses. The NSS was validated at a drinking-water abstraction near Holten (the Netherlands) using a spatial planning process aimed at sustainable land-use and groundwater-resource management. Two land-use scenarios were considered: a base scenario reflecting the autonomous development and an adapted land-use scenario. The calculated results for shallow groundwater provided an explicit spatial overview of the impact of historical land use and N application on the quality of abstracted groundwater as well as insight into the impact of changes in land use and N application. Visualization of the conflicting interests of agriculture and the drinking-water abstraction helped all stakeholders accept the necessary changes in land use identified by the adapted land-use scenario of the NSS. These changes were included in the preferred land-use management option in the regional planning process, which has since been formalized. The NSS provided system insight, scoping analyses, and education, in addition to generating quantitative information on the impact of land-use functions on groundwater quality. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.