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Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery (WISER)
Start date: 01 Mar 2009, End date: 29 Feb 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"WISER will support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) by developing tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters (with a focus on lakes and coastal/transitional waters), and by evaluating recovery processes in rivers, lakes and coastal/transitional waters under global change constraints. The project will (1) analyse existing data from more than 90 databases compiled in previous and ongoing projects, covering all water categories, Biological Quality Elements (BQEs) and stressor types and (2) perform targeted field-sampling exercises including all relevant BQEs in lakes and in coastal/transitional waters. New assessment systems will be developed and existing systems will be evaluated for lakes and coastal/transitional waters, with special focus on how uncertainty affects classification strength, to complete a set of assessment methodologies for these water categories. Biological recovery processes, in all water categories and in different climatic conditions, will be analysed, with focus on mitigation of hydromorphological and eutrophication pressures. Large-scale data will be used to identify linkages between pressure variables and BQE responses. Specific case studies, using a variety of modelling techniques, will address selected pressure-response relationships and the efficacy of mitigation measures. The responses of different BQEs and different water categories to human-induced degradation and mitigation will be compared, with special focus on response signatures of BQEs within and among water categories. Guidance for the next steps of the intercalibration exercise will be given by comparing different intercalibration approaches. Stakeholders will be included from the outset, by building small teams of stakeholders and project partners responsible for a group of deliverables, to ensure the applicability and swift implementation of results."
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