Rivers throughout Europe are under severe pressure to provide essentials such as water supply as well as being used for amenity and recreational purposes. Every Member State has therefore to improve the quality of its rivers. It is recognised that the most cost effective method to ensure river quality is an integrated approach in which all systems that discharge into the river are considered. Implementation of this approach is an important target for European countries, considering the large costs involved in protecting the environment (e.g.: 82.6 billion Euro to achieve the Urban Waste Water Directive which is largely aimed at river protection).
The project was concerned with the transfer of technology for the modelling and management of river pollution. An extensive R & D programme in Britain led to the development of both the tools and a methodology for this integrated approach - the Urban Pollution Management (UPM) Procedure. This procedure allows river systems to be modelled accurately, using variables such as sewer overflows and sewage works discharges, to enable assessment of minimum cost solutions for protecting the water environment.
The project aimed to adapt and transfer the UPM-procedure and related tools to five European countries (Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy and Portugal, to give a climatic range). Partners, who were selected for their expertise in modelling, carried out pilot studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of the procedure. It was hoped that successful demonstration of the UPM-methodology in Europe would result in cost effective environmental protection; proper management of river systems; improved water quality standards for river protection and improved communication between bodies responsible for river systems.
The conclusions of the project show a number of reservations about the applicability of the model to different local circumstances and climates. Nonetheless, lessons were learnt from each pilot study and modifications have been suggested. Although a number of technical problems have been highlighted, the knowledge of water modelling has been increased greatly. The lessons learnt have allowed the technology to be improved. Modifications needed to make UPM more generally applicable have been suggested. The pilot studies have demonstrated the value of the approach; the partners have benefited and agree the approach is valid and unique.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX10 8BA Wallingford