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Improved reporting of environmental information using the EIONET

Objective

The project will demonstrate and evaluate the telematics options for increasing the efficiency of flows of data and information at the local, national and international levels and, ultimately, for providing European-wide information services for the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its customers such as the European Commission (EC), the environmental protection authorities of the Member Countries of the EEA, and a wide range of Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations.

The project builds upon the investments already made in the European Environmental Information and Observation Network (EIONET) by the EC and the EEA. The project is fully integrated with the Work Programme of the EEA and the European Topic Centres on Air Quality (ETC/AQ) and Inland Waters (ETC/IW) are collaborating by sharing experiences on monitoring networks and at demonstrator sites. Staff from the EEA, National Focal Point (NFP) representatives, and other ETCs are also actively involved.
Experience gained by the ETC/AQ on developing a European-wide database on air quality (AIRBASE) will be transferred to the ETC/IW which will develop a WATERBASE. Development of international data-gathering networks based on existing national networks of air and water quality will result in two complementary systems known as AIRNET and WATERNET respectively.
Validation sites at Fredrikstad (NO), Athens (GR) and the River Thames (UK) will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach.
Major deliverables of the project will be a series of reports, available to the public, on: user requirements and scenario specifications; a Data Exchange Module, visualisation modules based on WWW technologies. There will also be a number of tools to be used locally by each demonstrator and facts sheets, brochures aimed at the broader public.
The demonstrator software (AIRBASE/ AIRNET/WATERBASE/WATERNET and the DEM and WWW applications should be applicable to other ETCs as well as in other countries of the EEA area and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (the Accession Countries).

Major Validation Sites
ETC/AQ-RIVM, Bilthoven, NL
NORGIT AS/NILU, Fredrikstad, NO
Aristotle Univ. Thessa, Athens, GR
ETC/IW-WRc, Marlow, UK
WRc/EA Thames region, Reading, UK

Users
A broad hierarchy of users from the general public and local environmental regulatory authorities (cities and municipalities for air, and river basin authorities for water), national regulatory organisations, and the European Environment Agency and European Commission.

Approach
State of the art WWW tools, including interactive web pages for retrieval and visualisation of data. Evaluation of database replication or mirroring technologies. Extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and tools to ensure interoperability between systems.

Expected Benefits
Free access to up to date environmental information at the appropriate level giving improved knowledge on factors affecting the quality of life. Major contributions to the Information Society with consequent benefits for education and freedom of choice.
Implementation of the telematics functioning of EIONET will provide a basis for better implementation of the work programmes of EEA and its clients. Provide the basis for integrated assessments of the state of and pressures on the environment, measures to be taken, and their effect.
Implementation of telematics solutions will improve operational efficiency, eliminate low-grade, repetitive tasks and provide the basis for better assessments of the pressures on the environment and its resulting state at the local, national and European level.

Contribution to EU Policies
AIRBASE and WATERBASE will provide objective, reliable and comparable data on the air and water environments and supply the information needs of a number of policies such as the Exchange of Information Decisions (air and water), Reporting Directive (water) and Framework Directive (water).

Coordinator

Norwegian Institute for Air Research

Participants (5)

Aristotle University Thessaloniki
Greece
Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
Netherlands
NORGIT SENTERET AS
Norway
PSB
Netherlands
Water Research Centre plc
United Kingdom