Programme  OS1c Europe and North America  abstract 838


Author(s): Timothy D. Steele, Sven Kralisch, Detlef Klein, Wolfgang Fluegel
Timothy D. Steele (1), Sven Kralisch (2), Detlef Klein (3), and Wolfgang Fluegel (4) (1) President, TDS Consulting Inc., Denver, CO (USA) and Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Research Scholar, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena (FSU-Jena), Germany; (2) ILMS Research Project Manager, Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology, and Modelling, FSU-Jena, Germany; (3) Head of Strategy, Hessenwasser, and Managing Director of Rhine Main Water Research, Gross Gerau, Germany; and (4) Department Head, Geoinformatics, Hydrology, and Modelling, FSU-Jena, Germany.

Keyword(s): water- quality management, Water Framework Directive, U.S. Clean Water Act, water-quality monitoring, river-basin plans/management, source-water protection

Article: abs838_article.pdf
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Session: OS1c Europe and North America
AbstractOverview of

Proposed Presentation

Since its formal transition into national laws in December 2003, key elements of the

European Union’s Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) are being implemented by the member states. Of

particular interest for this comparative evaluation with U.S.-based water-quality regulations was the March 2007

milestone for design and execution of monitoring networks to complement existing information and data compiled in

earlier (December 2004) environmental-assessment documents. The next EU-WFD key element involves

development of river-basin management plans for all the identified river-basin districts. This major policy attempts to

provide standardization among the EU member countries for major river basins and other water bodies throughout


A preliminary (unpublished) assessment of these and other key elements and milestones was

conducted earlier in the spring of 2007, including relevant comparisons with U.S. water-quality management

regulations (Clean Water Act with amendments, including source-water protection aspects). Extensive research was

conducted, principally benefiting from numerous relevant websites addressing the technical, institutional, and

economic aspects of water-quality management. Coincidentally, the webstream link for the European Water

Conference 2007 held in Brussels, Belgium during March 22-23 provided participants in attendance or linked by

computer with a unique opportunity to learn about progress to date as well as ongoing challenges in striving to

achieve EU-WFD objectives. This Conference was well organized and executed; criticisms and recommendations

resulting from candid discussions will hopefully be carefully considered, in particular regarding the WFD’s Common

Implementation Strategy (CIS).

This preliminary assessment focused on the following aspects:
· Basic

water-quality management legislation (both for the EU and U.S.),
· Institutions and stakeholder identification

and involvement,
· WFD-related technical tools, including examples from academia and with a special interest

by major water-supply enterprises,
· Critical overview of monitoring-program efforts, and

Demonstration of approaches and challenges, drawing from selected case studies for Germany, large international

river basins, and Greece.

Three principles inherent in water-quality management (both EU and U.S. cases)

have to be addressed and accepted:
· What constitutes “good” chemical and ecological status,
· How

“clean” is clean, and
· Willingness (or ability)-to-pay principle.
The EU-WFD advances the

knowledge and understanding of these key aspects, resulting in a net benefit over the earlier Clean Water Act in the


Further investigation and analysis for this assessment is envisioned during the spring of 2008 while again

based at the University of Jena, Germany. It is anticipated that the basic findings will be further refined or enhanced

by this additional research effort. Accordingly, results and findings will be highlighted at this Congress.

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