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LIFE TRIVERS - Implementing the Water Framework Directive to temporary rivers: tools for the assessment of their ecological status.

Project Status : Active

Project Phase : Planning

Project Location : Spain

Project reference : LIFE13 ENV/ES/000341

Duration : 02-JUN-2014 to 01-JUN -2018

Total budget : 1,407,943.00

EU contribution : 682,962.00

Project description:


The sustainable management of Europe s water resources are a real challenge for water system managers in the context of climate change and demographic developments.

The European Environment Agency %State of Water% report highlights worrying trends, showing an increase in, and wider prevalence of, water scarcity and stress. By 2030, this is expected to affect about half of EU river basins. To respond to this, in addition to improving water allocation based on ecological flow, water efficiency measures should be taken to save water and, in many cases, to save energy too.

These issues are addressed by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), which establishes a legal framework to protect and restore clean water in Europe, and to ensure its long-term, sustainable use. The directive%s approach to water management is based on river basins, which are the natural geographical and hydrological units. The WFD sets deadlines for Member States to protect aquatic ecosystems, and covers inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater.

However, measuring the ecological status of temporary rivers and how this affects their management remains an open question to be dealt with under the WFD, for the following reasons: 1. The WFD requires rivers to be classified on the basis of well defined typologies in order to apply appropriate river basin management plans. However, the typologies considered so far at European level do not explicitly refer to temporary streams. Spanish and Italian transpositions of the WFD recognised the need for defining diverse types of temporary streams, but did not develop guidelines for status assessments or temporary-river management; 2. In most cases, because of the lack of regulations and procedures, managers are forced to apply perennial river management principles when making decisions about the ecological status of temporary rivers, and when undertaking measures such as water allocation, river engineering, effluent discharge and restoration; and 3. The distinct hydrological variability of temporary streams clearly affects their pollution dynamics. Practical measures related to: (i) inputs from nutrients and organic matter from sewage effluent; (ii) erosion; (iii) remediation of stream sediments containing hazardous substances; and (iv) integrated flood management, should be included in management plans for temporary rivers.


The project will contribute to solving the problems related to the assessment of the ecological status of temporary streams through the development of software (TRESH) which, using hydrological and climatic data, can evaluate the river typology and the hydrological situation of the water body concerne

country :Spain

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:May 13, 2014
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