MoU for intercalibration of EU Water Framework Directive renewed | JPI OCEANS

MoU for intercalibration of EU Water Framework Directive renewed

2015.09.02

MoU for intercalibration of EU Water Framework Directive renewed

Nine member countries have committed to a renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding for the pilot action Joint funding of the Scientific Intercalibration exercise for the EU Water Framework Directive. 

With the new MoU nine member countries commit to continue activities based on the first part of the JPI Oceans pilot action. The intercalibration is done in response to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) which was adopted in 2000, in order to achieve good ecological status of European waters. The aim of intercalibration is to ensure that the values assigned by each Member State to the good ecological class boundaries are comparable to the boundaries proposed by other Member States. 
 
During the first part of the exercise from August 2014 until July 2015, the intercalibration of the benthic invertebrate fauna for coastal waters has been finalised. The abundance, diversity and species composition of these organisms are used as indicators of the changing environmental conditions in coastal waters. With the intercalibration exercise regional differences in behaviour of different assessment methods of nine member countries were verified. The comparability analysis with all these countries showed that they have developed comparable methods, for which few adjustments had to be implemented. These results have also been accepted by the review panel of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and will hence be taken up in 2016 in the update of the European Commission Decision on Member State WFD monitoring system classifications. 
 
A new milestone was achieved as well for the intercalibration of data on phytoplankton in coastal waters.  Specifically chlorophyll a and nutrient data from all North-East Atlantic member countries were analysed together in order to obtain a model that indicates how regions and member countries differ from each-other. A comparability analysis has been performed between legal boundaries of member countries on the basis of this model. Consequently, this complex comparability problem is close to a scientifically sound solution  when the in-depth exchange with environmental authorities will be finalised during the implementation of the second MoU.
 
Finally, the work on benthic invertebrates for transitional waters will continue, as well as work on phytoplankton for transitional waters will start and be completed for chlorophyll a assessment in 2015.  

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