Questionnaire on biological assessment methods used in national WFD monitoring programmes
The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires to classify the quality status of rivers, lakes, coastal and transitional waters. The ecological status is evaluated by biological assessment methods using selected biological quality elements, i.e. phytoplankton, benthic flora, benthic invertebrate fauna and fish fauna. The 27 European Member States are in charge of developing these methods, and the classification of good ecological status is harmonised in a Europe-wide intercalibration exercise.
Against this background there is a growing need for the exchange of information and data. Therefore, a joint activity was launched between the Intercalibration Steering Group and the EU research project WISER to collate consistent data about the national assessment methods used in WFD quality monitoring by the 27 Member States. Information on the methods is collected by means of this questionnaire. Member States’ delegates are asked to provide the requested data on screen and submit the questionnaire’s content by email. The information will be collated by the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). By April 2010 the descriptions of the national methods can be queried from an online-database accessible via the WISER webpage.
Relevance to the intercalibration exercise
The method descriptions will be used as part of the intercalibration reporting procedure. The Geographical Intercalibration Groups (GIGs) can have access to the data as soon as they are available. Information will serve as the basis for WFD compliance and IC acceptance checking according to the new Intercalibration Process Guidance.
The questionnaire is divided into three sections that cover the topics A - General information, B - Data acquisition and C - Data evaluation. This enquiry is mostly focussing on general aspects that all biological assessment methods have in common - irrespective of water category or biological quality element. However, the completion of the questionnaire requires good knowledge about the respective national method, thus it might best be undertaken by persons responsible for method development or implementation.
The questionnaire can be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download via adobe.com). By pressing the email-button at the end of this document the filled-in data becomes converted into xml-format and attached to an email addressed to email@example.com. Sebastian Birk is responsible for content and technical issues of this task. Please contact him in case of problems and further questions. Please complete one questionnaire for each individual national assessment method and send the information by December 1st, 2009.