REBECCA Relationships between ecological and chemical status of surface waters

Country: 
Start Date:   1/12/2003         Duration: 41 months         Project Type: RTD
Contract Number: SSP1-CT-2003-502158
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Topics: 
Groundwater protection-->Groundwater processes-->Ecotoxicology
Groundwater protection-->Monitoring-->Monitoring overview
Groundwater protection-->Planning-->Protective areas
Water resources and their management -->Water resources and their management Overview
Project objectives:
The specific aims of REBECCA are:     
• to describe current knowledge of relationships between ecological status of surface waters and both hydro-morphological and physico-chemical quality 
elements as modified by pressures from different sources; • to identify knowledge gaps; • to develop new relationships based on the integrated analysis of existing data sets at European scale; • to investigate synergistic or antagonistic effects of combined pressures; • to present a consistent and integrated scientific understanding of these relationships; and • to develop and validate tools that member states can use in the process of classification, in the design of their monitoring programs, and in the design of
measures in accordance with the requirements of the WFD.
Project Summary:
The objective of REBECCA is to provide underpinning for one of the key scientific principles on which the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is based, i.e. that 
relationships between the biological state and physical and chemical properties of surface waters are sufficiently well understood to enable the management
of catchments and rivers to achieve ecological objectives (see footnote*). Historically, there has been great success in maintaining and improving the quality
of surface waters by developing an understanding of the links between anthropogenic pressures (e.g. water abstraction, agriculture, and effluent discharges)
and the chemical status of waters, although there remain many challenges in reliably designing and implementing the necessary programmes of measures. Our
present understanding of the link between chemical properties and ecological state, while good in some instances, is generally not adequate to support management
intervention against ecological objectives.
Achieved Objectives:
The strategic objective of REBECCA has been to provide relevant scientific    
support for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).    
The two specific aims of the project have been, firstly, to establish links    
between ecological status of surface waters and physico-chemical quality    
elements and pressures from different sources, and, secondly, to develop    
and validate tools that member states can use in the process of    
classification, in the design of their monitoring programs and in the design    
of measures in accordance with the requirements of the WFD.   
   
The REBECCA project has collected existing data owned by REBECCA    
partners and from data providers outside the consortium. Thus, data sets    
with improved geographical (and also temporal) coverage have been    
produced. They include chemical and biological data from thousands of    
sampling sites in European lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Ensuring the    
data quality was a big challenge due to the lack of harmonised sampling    
and analysing methods as well as lack of harmonised taxonomic resolu   
tion. These data sets have been then used to assess the following issues:   
   
    
•    
   
 investigating the sensitivity of single species, other taxonomic    
groups,  multi-metric indices against different pressures and    
chemical indicators;   
   
     
•    
   
 testing the response the existing biological indicators (described in    
earlier literature) against pressures using the REBECCA data, and    
adjust these relationships, if necessary;   
   
     
•    
   
 developing new biological indicators which would have a better    
response, and indicators for pressures not referred to in earlier    
literature;   
   
    
•    
   
 assessing reference conditions (in lakes);   
   
    
•    
   
 evaluating, if ecological thresholds (points of no return) can be found    
across the pressure gradients;   
   
     
•    
   
 developing new tools to be used in ecological classification.   
   
These analyses' results are all available on the Toolbox project's website:    
www.rbm-toolbox.net/rebecca .   
   
Much attention has been paid to organise a continuous information flow    
between the project and end-users of its results. At Community level, the    
most important link has been between REBECCA and one of the WFD    
Common Implementation Strategy groups, namely the ECOSTAT working    
group. REBECCA scientists have also been working together ECOSTAT    
Geographical Intercalibration Groups to provide them with information in    
order to set the ecological class boundaries for surface waters. 
            
Product Descriptions:

            
Additional Information:

            
Project Resources:

REBECCA Newsletter No 1: Relationships between ecological and chemical status of surface waters

REBECCA Newsletter No 2

REBECCA Newsletter No 3

Rebecca Deliverable D5: State report on case studies - Relationships between ecological and chemical status of surface waters

REBECCA Deliverable D3: Analysis of knowledge gaps

REBECCA WP4 Rivers. Deliverable D6: Report on existing methods and relationships linking pressures, chemistry and biology in rivers

Relations between ecological and chemical status of surface waters REBECCA Toolbox
Weblink:
http://www.rbm-toolbox.net/rebecca/
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 6
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Dr Stefan Gφdeke  Who does what?  21/03/2005 16:10:00
Updated by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  21/09/2007 22:58:00