CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT

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Home CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT Ecological Status Surveillance and Investigative monitoring

Surveillance and Investigative monitoring

Three types of monitoring are established by WFD: ‘Operational’, ‘Surveillance’ and ‘Investigative’.

In particular, surveillance monitoring is established to provide information for:

  • supplementing and validating the impact assessment procedure;
  • the efficient and effective design of future monitoring programmes;
  • the assessment of long-term changes in natural conditions;
  • the assessment of long-term changes resulting from widespread anthropogenic activity.

Surveillance monitoring has to be carried out for parameters indicative of all biological quality elements, all hydromorphological quality elements, all general physic-chemical quality elements, priority list pollutants and other pollutants. The collection of information to a high level of detail is generally required for this type of monitoring.

Investigative monitoring should be carried out in case a water body is classified to a less than good state and the causes of this discrepancy is unknown. Investigative monitoring is established in order to ascertain the causes of a water body or water bodies failing to achieve the environmental objectives. In particular this monitoring is dedicated to the assessment of  magnitude and impacts of accidental pollution.

Although falling into one of the first two monitoring types mentioned above, it’s worth mentioning  the monitoring procedure for Reference sites. Reference sites should be identified for each river type and correspond to unaffected or only slightly modified stream reaches. Selection of reference sites is a crucial step in the development of classification systems for all biological quality elements, i.e. invertebrates, diatoms, macrophytes and fish. Detailed information on biological and abiotic data should be collected on Reference sites. These sites should be included in surveillance monitoring networks and in dedicated protection plans according to WFD requirements.

Additional modules included into MacrOper system and specifically dedicated to surveillance and investigative monitoring will be presented in the next future.