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A map and dashboard are available to visualise the results

 

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Map – Water Bodies Risk Analysis of the 6 Eastern Partnership countries ©OiEau

 

In the frame of the EU-funded EUWI+ project, water resources in pilot areas of the Eastern Partnership countries have been assessed. The specific indicators employed in the assessments show the current and future level of environmental quality in line with the pressures likely to affect water resources. This process, known as a “risk assessment of water bodies”, provides the basis to decide on the most appropriate measures to safeguard or increase water quality in the years to come.   

To make this complex data easy to understand, the EUWI+ project developed a dynamic dashboard and map to visualise the risk assessment for surface water bodies (lakes, rivers) in the pilot river basins of the Eastern Partnership countries.

 

Three ways to characterise the water bodies

In the spirit of the European Water Framework Directive, water bodies are characterised in three successive steps, applied during the development of river basin management plans (RBMP):

1) Current status, estimated from monitoring results (e.g. physicochemical, hydrobiological, and hydromorphological results for surface water bodies). Therefore, the current status is based on data from previous years.

2) Risk of failing to achieve environmental objectives at the end of the planning cycle, subject to current policies and trends, estimated from the monitoring status, pressure analysis, trends and/or expert opinions. Three classes of risk assessment are proposed:

  • Water bodies not at risk of failing to achieve the environmental objectives at the end of the planning cycle. The water body will reach environmental objectives at the end of the cycle because of its current good status and/or minimal pressures and stable/decreasing trends.
  • Water bodies at risk of failing to achieve the environmental objectives at the end of the planning cycle. This is due to their unsatisfactory current status and/or significant pressures and/or increasing trends.
  • Water bodies possibly at risk of failing to achieve the environmental objectives at the end of the planning cycle. In this case, it is difficult to qualify the risk because of lack of data or uncertainty.

The risk analysis estimates the status of water bodies in the future using a business-as-usual scenario.

 

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Zoom: Ukraine and Belarus water bodies at risk ©OiEau

 

3) Environmental objectives, described by two components: good status (for natural water bodies) or good potential (for heavily modified water bodies, e.g. water bodies with a high level of hydromorphological changes); and the timeframe to reach the objective (at the end of the first planning cycle or after the following cycles). The environmental objectives are considered as a commitment to the future with the implementation of the programme of measures.

Map and dashboard to visualise risk assessment results

The dynamic dashboard describes the results of the risk assessment for the 5,828 surface water bodies of nine river basins in the six Eastern Partnership countries. For all of the water bodies, the following results are mapped according to the three classes mentioned above: global result of the risk assessment; current pressure-hydromorphology; current pressure-pollution: point sources, diffuse sources.

The risk assessments have been conducted for the development of nine river basin management plans (RBMP) by more than one hundred local experts supported by the EUWI+ expert team.

 

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Map of pilot EUWI+ river basins management plans

 

These results provide the basis to identify which measures should be implemented to improve the status of the concerned water bodies and, eventually, to achieve the environmental objectives.

Water bodies with good status means healthy ecosystems that provide high-value services to people, the economy, and biodiversity, provided that they are subject to effective management to ensure the sustainability of this balance.