European methods for WFD

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European methods for WFD


Hydromorphological assessment methods


In this section we overview the assessment methods which are commonly used and/or have been formally approved for the implementation of the WFD in each EU country. We reviewed 21 methods in total (Figure 1; Table 1; see 'Other relevant information' below).

Given that parts of these methods are only published in the national language, this review is mainly limited to those methods for which some information in English was available (papers, English summaries, etc.).

Figure 1. Sum of analyzed methods (i.e. implemented by EU coutries for the WFD) for each of the 5 categories of assessment methods. (*) The hydrological regime alteration assessment is provided only by the IARI (Italy), which deeply differs from others categories of assessment methods.

The main gap in methods implemented by EU countries for the WFD is the lack of consideration of physical processes (i.e. cause-effect of alterations), when physical habitat assessment is used alone. The 5 identified categories of methods need to be considered as part of an overall hydromorphological assessment.

Application to WFD

Table 1 shows the methods adopted in each European country for the implementation of the WFD, and indicated their status of application. Tables also shows, when available, supplementary information concerning the hydromorphological assessment for those countries that do not employ a specific method (e.g. BiotopeMap in Sweden), or because the adopted method refers to some particular objective related to hydromorphology (e.g. the criteria applied in Romania for HMWBs). The Environmental Flow Indicator (EFI), developed by the Environmental Agency in the UK, has also been included in the table. See the Hydrological regime assessment ("A special focus on Environmental Flows") tool page for major details.

Table 1. Census of hydromorphological methods and/or assessment criteria applied in each European country for the implementation of the WFD (NA = information not available).

Other relevant information

Below the links to table summaries concerning EU methods for the WFD

- The Austrian method: File:AustrianMethod.pdf

- The Czech method: File:CzechHEM.pdf

- The Danish method: File:DanishDHQI.pdf

- The UK and Irish methods: File:UKRHS.pdf; File:ScottishMImAS.pdf; File:IrishRhat.pdf

- The French methods: File:FrenchCarHyCE.pdf; File:FrenchSyrah.pdf; File:FrenchRoeIce.pdf

- The German methods: File:GermanLawaFS.pdf; File:GermanLawaOS.pdf

- The Italian methods: File:ItalianCaravaggio.pdf; File:ItalianMQI.pdf

- The Latvian method: File:LatvianMethod.pdf

- The Dutch method: File:DutchHandboek.pdf

- The Polish method: File:PolishMHR.pdf

- The Portuguese method: File:PortugueseRHS.pdf

- The Slovak method: File:SlovakHAP.pdf

- The Slovenian method: File:SlovenianSIHM.pdf

- The Spanish methods: File:SpanishIHF.pdf; File:SpanishQBR.pdf


Buffagni A., Erba S., Ciampitiello M. (2005): Il rilevamento idromorfologici e degli habitat fluviali nel contesto della direttiva europea sulle acque (WFD): principi e schede di applicazione del metodo Caravaggio - Notiziario dei metodi analitici, 2, Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque, CNR IRSA:32-34.

Chandesris A., Mengin N., Malavoi J.R., Souchon Y., Pella H. and Wasson J.G. (2008): Systeme Relationnel d’Audit de l’Hydromorphologie des Cours d’Eau. Principes et methodes, v3.1. Cemagref, Lyon Cedex, 81 p.

van Dam O., Osté A.J., de Groot B., van Dorst M.A.M. (2007): Handboek Hydromorfologie. Monitoring en afleiding hydromorfologische parameters Kaderrichtlijn Water. Directoraat-generaal Rijkswaterstaat, Waterdienst/ Data- en ICT-Dienst, Lelystad/Delft. link

Ferreira J., Padua J., Hughes S.J., Cortes R.M., Varandas S., Holmes N. and Raven P. (2011): Adapting and adopting River Habitat Survey: Problems and solutions for fluvial hydromorphological assessment in Portugal. Limnetica 30:263-272.

Hallde’n A., Liliegren Y. and Lagerkvist G. (2002): Biotopkartering - Vattendrag. Metodik för kartering av biotoper i ochi anslutning till vattendrag. ISSN: 1101-9425. Meddelande nr 2002:55. (In Swedish). Jönköping: Länsstyrelsen i Jönköpings län, 86 pp. In: Molin, J., A. Kagervall, et al. (2010). "Linking habitat characteristics with juvenile density to quantify Salmo salar and Salmo trutta smolt production in the river Savaran, Sweden." Fisheries Management and Ecology 17:446-453.

Ilnicki P., Gołdyn R., Soszka H., Górecki K., Grzybowski M., Krzemińska A., Lewandowski P., Skocki K., Sojka M. and Marcinkiewicz M. (2009): Opracowanie metodyk monitoringu i klasyfikacji hydromorfologicznych elementów jakości jednolitych części wód rzecznych i jeziornych, zgodnie z wymogami Ramowej Dyrektywy Wodnej. ETAP I - II. Zadanie 1, 2 i 3. Kod CPV: 9071 1500–9. Nomenklatura wg CPV: 90711500–9. Poznań listopad 2009 roku GEPOL sp. z o.o., Poznań. In: Ilnicki P., Górecki K., Grzybowski M., Krzemińska A., Lewandowski P. and Sojka M. (2010): Principles of hydromorphological surveys of Polish rivers. Journal of Water and Land Development 14:3-13.

ISPRA (2011): Implementazione della Direttiva 2000/60/CE. Analisi e valutazione degli aspetti idromorfologici. Versione 1.1. Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Roma, 85 p.

Langhammer J. (2007): HEM Hydroekologický monitoring. Metodika pro monitoring hydromorfologických ukazatelů ekologické kvality vodních toků. PřF UK, Praha, 47 pp. In: Langhammer J. (2009): Applicability of hydromorphological monitoring data to locate flood risk reduction measures: Blanice River basin, Czech Republic. Environmental Monitoring Assessment 152(1):379-392.

LAWA (2000): Gewässerstrukturgütebewertung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Verfahren für kleine und mittelgroße Fließgewässer, Schwerin, Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser. In: Kamp U., Binder W., Holzl K. (2007): River habitat monitoring and assessment in Germany. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 127(1-3):209-226.

LAWA (2002a): Gewässerstrukturkartierung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Verfahren für mittelgroße bis große Fließgewässer. Schwerin, Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser.

LAWA (2002b): Gewässerstrukturgütekartierung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Übersichtsverfahren. Empfehlungen Oberirdische Gewässer. Entwurf April 2002. Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser.

Lehotský, M. and Grešková A. (2007). "Fluvial geomorphological approach to river assessment – methodology and procedure." Geograficky Casopis 59(2):107-129.

Munné A. and Prat N. (1998): QBR: Un índice rápido para la evaluación de la calidad de los ecosistemas de ribera. Tecnología del Agua 175:20–37.

Murphy M. and Toland M. (2012): River Hydromorphology Assessment Technique (RHAT). Training guide. Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), Department of the Environment. Version 2012, 42 pp.

Mühlmann H. (2010): Leitfaden zur zustandserhebung in fliessgewässern - Hydromorphologie. Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (Wien). link

National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) and Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute SHMI (2004): Establishment of the Protocol on Monitoring and Assessment of the Hydromorphological Elements (Slovakia) - Final Report.

ONEMA (2010): Des étapes et des outils… Les outils de connaissance de l’hydromorphologie des cours d’eau français. Restauration physique des cours d’eau - Connaissance, 31 p.

ONEMA (2010): Référentiel national des Obstacles à l’Ecoulement : une cartographie nationale des obstacles sur les cours d’eau. Les fiches de l’Onema, 2 p.

Pardo, I. Álvarez M., Casas J., Moreno J.L., Vivas S., Bonada N., Alba-Tercedor J., Jáimez-Cuéllar P., Moyà G., Prat N., Robles S., Suárez M.L., Toro M. and Vidal-Abarca M.R. (2002): El hábitat de los ríos mediterráneos. Diseño de un índice de diversidad de hábitat. Limnetica, 21(3-4):115-133.

Pedersen M.L. and Baattrup-Pedersen A. (2003): Økologisk overvågning i vandløb og på vandløbsnære arealer under NOVANA 2004-2009. Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser. Teknisk Anvisning fra DMU nr. 21. In: National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) and Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMI) (2004): Establishment of the Protocol on Monitoring and Assessment of the Hydromorphological Elements (Slovakia). Final Report.

Raven P.J., Fox P., Everard M., Holmes N.T.H. and Dawson F.H. (1997): River habitat survey: A new system for classifying rivers according to their habitat quality. Freshwater Quality: Defining the Indefinable?. 215-234.

Rinaldi M., Surian N., Comiti F. and Bussettini M. (2013): A method for the assessment and analysis of the hydromorphological condition of Italian streams: The Morphological Quality Index (MQI). Geomorphology 180-181:96-108, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.09.009.

Tavzes B. and Urbanic G. (2009): New indices for assessment of hydromorphological alteration of rivers and their evaluation with benthic invertebrate communities; Alpine case study. Review of Hydrobiology 2:133-161.

UK Technical Advisory Group on the WFD (UKTAG) (2008): UK Environmental Standards and Conditions (Phase 1) – Final. Vol. SR1-2006, 73 p.

Valette L., Chandesris A., Malavoi J.R., Suchon Y. and Willet B. (2010): Protocole AURAH-CE AUdit RApide de l’Hydromorphologie des Cours d’Eau. Méthode de recueil d’informations complémentaires à SYRAH-CE sur le terrain, Pôle hydroécologie des cours d’eau - Onema/Cemagref, 35 p.