Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

EAQC-WISE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 22603
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: France

Testing Europe's water and aquatic systems

A project supporting Europe's Water Framework Directive developed new strategies for analysing quality control of water and aquatic systems. The health of society, fauna and flora depend on this.
Testing Europe's water and aquatic systems
Water issues and the health of aquatic ecosystems in Europe are of concern to the whole continent and must be monitored continuously. There is a need to strengthen the EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD) to engage all nations and players in monitoring this rich resource.

The EU-funded project 'European analytical quality control in support of the Water Framework Directive via the Water Information System for Europe' (EAQC-WISE) helped establish a quality control system to improve water testing. The project worked to also provide reference materials, facilitate research and conduct training in this field, covering areas such as water, biota, sediment and soil monitoring across the EU.

Project scientists developed a sustainable quality assurance control system for water, organisms, sediment and related soil monitoring data across the region. It considered an integrated approach based on national expert groups (NEGs) overseen by a European expert group (EEG).

Both NEGs and the EEG dealt with various tasks, each related to different aspects of QA/QC. EAQC-WISE identified these tasks at a national and international level. Obligatory participation in such groups was recommended to ensure involvement of all Member States (MS). This was to be achieved through integration of such a mechanism in the WFD common implementation strategy (CIS).

The emerging system ensured valuable exchange of recommendations through compliance and monitoring. It also required laboratories to demonstrate their competence to undertake monitoring activities.

EAQC-WISE addressed gaps and weaknesses in the system. It developed new tools and techniques related to research and standardisation, prioritising research needs and minimising duplication of work. A wide variety of stakeholders and actors were involved to ensure sustainability of the systems. The project surveyed existing standards to evaluate compliance, refined monitoring methods and ensured the availability of training.

In addition, it proposed an improved accreditation system to standardise quality and control mechanisms for chemical monitoring and beyond. Thanks to the efforts of this project, the EU may have a better set of tools to ensure that its aquatic systems are healthy.

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