Improving Coastal and Recreational Waters
Start date: Mar 31, 2003,
End date: Jan 4, 2007
The objective of ICRW is to develop the contribution of coastal and inland waters used for leisure purposes to sustainable economic prosperity and to improve quality of life in the Atlantic Area, by reducing their pollution and improving their quality. The innovative aspect of the project is not only linked with the techniques used: the implementation of new methodologies and the relation established between water quality and spatial development processes are also important. The project intends, over a period of three years, to carry out seven pilot projects based on water, developing methods and models to forecast the quality of water used for leisure purposes, identifying sources of pollution and studying solutions for the treatment of waste water in rural zones, always taking socio-economic factors into account. Achievements: Pilot action 1 – A study into the application of the Directive on bathing waters in the different member states highlights the different interpretations and their reasons. It also formulates recommendations and suggests that a good practice guide on applying the directive should be provided and disseminated free by the member States. Pilot action 2 – Each country has drawn up a report including a wide range of results, discussions and conclusions. Many have produced guides and practical information about how to use the tools developed. The results can be shown in 3 main approaches. - Practical: use, for example, of an approach based on risks to foresee and develop campaigns for capturing sewage and farm wastewater. The "tools" used would include inspections, databases and GIS. - Technical: modelling and genotypes of bacteria, system of best practices in sewage treatment. - Partner: covering the work with the other organisations to carry out improvements. Pilot action 3 – Both methods studied for detecting sources of pollution can be used to determine the source of faecal pollution in waters in a given environment. Pilot action 4 – The work done in partnerships has made it possible to join together 3 disparate elements: a diagnostic model, a simple forecasting model and advanced information techniques for the general public. The value and utility of models for evaluating the quality of bathing waters have been shown and a series of "tools" has been delivered which can be promoted and distributed within the Atlantic Area. Pilot action 5 – The partners have developed specific protocols for their own countries to re-identify the bathing and recreational waters and piloted protocols in their respective regions: Northwest for the United Kingdom, Alentejo for Portugal. In both cases, the protocols comprised 5 stages: site location, site evaluation, samples to assess the quality of the water, economic analysis and final selection. These recommendations will give a clearer view of the revision of the European Directive on bathing waters by: - identifying satisfactory bathing waters, - supplying information on estimating the appropriateness of expenses allocated to improvements, - providing assistance in establishing profiles for recreational waters, - ensuring that the public plays a concrete role in the process, - suggesting greater integration including planning processes for using the land, if such relationships do not exist or are very few. Pilot action 6 – Studies of the wastewater treatment plant have led to the identification of efficient methods for reducing the quantities of nutrients and bacteria discharged into the environment. Sustainability indicators have been developed, showing the advantages of using natural systems for small towns. Tools to aid the dissemination of the results have been produced. A risk evaluation tool for public sewage systems has been developed and successfully tested. The process required for creating a risk assessment tool for other sewage systems is available in the form of a methodology guide. Pilot action 7 – United Kingdom: A management strategy has been proposed to control algae in Preston Dock. France: The role of nitrogen and phosphorous in the growth of dinoflagellates has been better understood, which has led to the development of more precise models providing better understanding of the dynamics of Alexandrium minutum growth. Forecasts can now be established for the proliferation period of Alexandrium minutum and choices can be made in the long-term management to reduce the proliferation. Portugal: Development and testing of a model used to evaluate the possibilities of improving the quality of water in a basin and to check the growth of seaweed. Recommendations for controlling the proliferation of seaweed have been drawn up and a long-term strategy to reduce discharges of nutrients into the reservoir is currently being developed.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation