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1GE WS 191119

Workshop: Ecological classification of surface water bodies in EUWI+ pilot areas of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. © OIEau

 

The objective of the workshop is to provide support to the beneficiary countries to understand and implement the EU-Water Framework Directive on the ecological classification of surface water bodies.

Two-day workshop for the three Caucasus countries 

The workshop, which runs from 19 to 20 November 2019, is held in Kakheti, Georgia. It is attended by representatives from Georgia (Air, Water and Soil Laboratory of the National Environmental Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources Protection of Georgia), Azerbaijan (representatives from the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan) and Armenia (Environmental Monitoring and Information Centre).

 

3GE WS 191119

Landscape, Kakheti, Georgia © OIEau

What is ecological classification of surface water bodies?

According to the European Environment Agency, ecological classification of water bodies is “[…]an assessment of the quality of the structure and functioning of surface water ecosystems. It shows the influence of pressures (e.g. pollution and habitat degradation) on the identified quality elements.”

Ecological status is determined for each of the surface water bodies, based on biological quality indicators (phytoplankton, macrophytes and phytobentos) and supported by physico-chemical and hydromorphological quality pointers.

Biological elements are the basis for ecological classification because they are bioindicators, which mean they indicate the status of a water body. Other supportive elements for the classification of ecological status are hydromorphological elements (continuity for rivers, hydrology and morphology) and more classic chemical and physicochemical elements.

 

4GE WS 191119

Landscape, Kakheti, Georgia © OIEau

 

Five main topics covered

Participants in the workshop:

- overviewed the status quo regarding data collection and data analysis (Access database)

- discussed the example of deriving reference conditions

- overviewed existing classification methods in the EUWI+ countries (metrics, indices, combination)

- discussed proposals for new monitoring sites (surveillance, operational), as part of the monitoring development plans

- discussed types of classification of Surface Water Bodies, based on existing data, grouping and expertise.

 

5GE WS 191119

Workshop: Ecological classification of surface water bodies in EUWI+ pilot areas
of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. © OIEau