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New challenges for water quality monitoring: potential role of novel monitoring tools

IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
5. Water Governance and Water Security
Author(s): Catherine Gonzalez
Benoit Roig
Richard Greenwood
Catherine Berho
Nina Graveline
B. Roig, Ecole des Mines d'Alès, FR R. Greenwood, University of Portsmouth, UK C. Berho, BRGM, FR N. Graveline, BRGM, FR

Keyword(s): water quality monitoring, biological and chemical monitoring. low-cost methods

AbstractThe European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) is one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation produced in recent years and is likely to transform the way that water quality monitoring is undertaken across all member states. The Directive aims to achieve and ensure “good quality” status of all water bodies throughout Europe by 2015, and this is to be achieved by implementing management plans at the river basin level. Monitoring is required to cover a number of ‘water quality elements’ including, physico-chemical, hydro- morphological, biological and chemical parameters. The successful implementation of the WFD will rely on the availability of low-cost tools and technologies able to deliver appropriate and reliable data. In addition, as many large river basins encompass a number of countries, it is important to ensure that the data collected by different EU member states are of comparable and appropriate quality. The WFD does not mandate the use of a particular set of monitoring methods, but aims to ensure the establishment of an adequate monitoring programme (surveillance, operational or investigative monitoring). The techniques currently available for the assessment of biological quality include biomarkers, whole-organisms bioassays, biological early warning systems (BEWS). For chemical monitoring the methods available are mainly, electrochemical sensors, biosensors, immunoassays and passive samplers). Based on case studies investigated on several river basins across Europe, the potential role of these methods, their integration in water management strategy will be developed. Moreover, some of these methods/techniques are easy to use in field conditions and open interesting perspectives to water quality monitoring in developing countries.
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