Water bodies in Europe : Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery
European surface waters are impacted by multiple environmental stressors, e.g. eutrophication, organic pollution and habitat degration, and water uses which adversely affect their ecological quality and lead to loss of ecosystem functions.
Since 2000, EU:s Water Framework Directive requires countries to improve the ecological status of all surface waters that do not meet the “good ecological status". Therefore, improved assessment methods to identify degree and causes of degradation, and methods to design recovery schemes and to predict their success are required.
WISER will support the implementation of the Water Framework (WFD) by developing tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters, with focus on lakes, coastal and transitional waters.
The project will analyze existing data from more than 90 databases compiled in previous and ongoing projects, covering all water categories, organism groups and environmental stressor types. Field-sampling campaigns will supplement the data on lakes and coastal systems. The data will be used to test and complement existing assessment schemes with a focus on affects on classification strength. Biological recovery processes after release from hydromorphological and eutrophication pressures will be analyzed. Therefore, large-scale data will help to identify linkages between pressure variables and organism´s responses. WISER aims at developing assessment methods for organism groups and ecosystem types for which sufficient methods are still lacking.
Selected case studies, using a variety of modelling techniques, will address pressure-response relationships and evaluate the efficacy of restoration. WISER will provide guidance for the next steps of the intercalibration exercise by comparing different intercalibration approaches.
WISER is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 6 -Environment including Climate Change.
More information can be found on the WISER web site.