Title: The Monitoring of Ecological Status of European Freshwaters
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC47624
ISBN: 978-0-470-51836-6
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC47624
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The WFD implementation process is a unique example of collaboration among different countries, which have their own sovereignty but share at the same time a common vision on the sustainable use and protection of water resources that goes beyond national borders. In the Directive, ¿good¿ ecological status defines a balanced biological structure of communities as part of a well-functioning aquatic cosystem. Legally, it represents the ambitious objective to be reached for all European water bodies by 2015. Although biological assification has a long tradition in Europe, few comprehensive datasets have been collected so far within national monitoring programmes . Another recent review on biological assessment methods used in European countries revealed a high heterogeneity of methods and approaches for many quality elements and water bodies. Mainly driven by the intercalibration exercise, a great amount of work has been carried out in Europe in the past few years to ccommodate WFD requirements in biological methods suitable for the monitoring and assessment of ecological status. It should be underlined that many of the most recent methods were developed based on limited data and it is very difficult at this point to evaluate their potential in fulfilling the WFD¿s monitoring requirements. In general, the degree of maturity of the classification schemes varies according to the country, the quality element and the specific water type. Thus, there is a strong necessity to harmonise the assessment results at European level and to reduce the uncertainty of the classification. When the results of the first WFD-compliant monitoring programmes are available, it is likely that a revision of those methods using data of sufficient quality from all water types will be undertaken.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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