Evaluating the usefulness of dynamic pollutant fate models for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive

BIOMATH, Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Chemosphere (Impact Factor: 3.34). 04/2009; 76(1):27-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.02.046
Source: PubMed


The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims at achieving a good ecological and chemical status of surface waters in river basins by 2015. The chemical status is considered good if the Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) are met for all substances listed on the priority list and eight additional specific emerging substances. To check compliance with these standards, the WFD requires the establishment of monitoring programmes. The minimum measuring frequency for priority substances is currently set at once per month. This can result in non-representative sampling and increased probability of misinterpretation of the surface water quality status. To assist in the classification of the water body, the combined use of monitoring data and pollutant fate models is recommended. More specifically, dynamic models are suggested, as possible exceedance of the quality standards can be predicted by such models. In the presented work, four realistic scenarios are designed and discussed to illustrate the usefulness of dynamic pollutant fate models for implementing the WFD. They comprise a combination of two priority substances and two rivers, representative for Western Europe.

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    • "Models help identifying measures to achieve a target ecological status, by taking into account possible management options (Kersebaum et al. 2003; Chaplot et al. 2004; Lohmann et al. 2007; Krause et al. 2008; Volk et al. 2009; Scheringer 2009). For example, Brock et al. (2006) assessed ecological protection goals for pesticides risk in surface waters and proposed considering multiple emission scenarios when evaluating ecotoxicological effects in support of EU policies; Zukowska et al. (2005) modeled fate and transport of selected POPs in the Vistula catchment investigating different scenarios of economic development and regulations; Gevaert et al. (2009) discussed scenarios to illustrate the usefulness of models in the implementation of the WFD for 2 priority substances in representative Western European rivers; Holzkämper et al. (2012) proposed the integrated catchment management as a tool to evaluate management options under high complexity and uncertainty; Volk et al. (2009) assessed river water quality depending on land‐use scenarios; the risk of chemicals has been considered for the Mediterranean region under crop‐specific (Ramos et al. 2007) and water scarcity (Petrovic et al. 2011) scenarios. However, the above studies conducted evaluations of policy alternatives with reference to limited areas or specific conditions, whereas it is increasingly important to extend assessments of chemicals over broad policy target areas such as the whole EU or the European continent. "
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    ABSTRACT: An evaluation of conventional emission scenarios is carried out targeting a possible impact of EU policies on riverine loads to the European seas for three pilot pollutants: Lindane, Trifluralin and Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The policy scenarios are investigated to the time horizon of year 2020 starting from chemical specific reference conditions and considering different types of regulatory measures including Business as Usual (BAU), current trend (CT), partial implementation (PI) or complete ban (PI ban) of emissions. The scenario analyses show that the model-estimated Lindane load of 745 t to European seas in 1995, based on the official emission data, would be reduced by 98.3% to ca.12.5 t in 2005 (BAU scenario), ten years after the start of the EU regulation of this chemical. The CT and PI ban scenarios indicate a reduction of sea loads of Lindane in 2020 by 74% and 95%, respectively, when compared to the BAU estimate. For Trifluralin, an annual load of ca. 61.7 t is estimated for the baseline year 2003 (BAU scenario), although the applied conservative assumptions related to pesticide use data availability in Europe. Under the PI (ban) scenario, assuming only small residual emissions of Trifluralin, we estimate a sea loading of ca. 0.07 t/y. For PFOS, the total sea load from all European countries is estimated at ca. 5.8 t/y referred to 2007 (BAU scenario). Reducing the total load of PFOS below 1 t/y requires emissions to be reduced by 84%. The analysis of conventional scenarios or scenario typologies for emissions of contaminants using simple spatially explicit GIS-based models is suggested as a viable, affordable exercise that may support the assessment of implementation of policies and the identification or negotiation of emission reduction targets. Integr Environ Assess Manag © 2013 SETAC.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
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    • "Yet, the lack of other long-term online datasets of full-scale nitrous oxide emission makes it impossible to assess to what extent the tremendous variability at Kralingseveer is generally applicable . In two other water-related fields, this lack of data was countered by testing different monitoring scenarios against simulated data from dynamic models of the presence of pollutants in sewers Ort and Gujer (2006) and water bodies Gevaert et al. (2009). For nitrous oxide emission, a reliable mechanistic model that is able to describe the dynamics of nitrous oxide emission from full-scale WWTPs is not available (yet). "
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    • "Monitoring of water quality on the concentrations of organic contaminants is costly and difficult to perform due to both temporal and spatial sampling restricts (Gevaert et al., 2009). Mathematical model provides an efficient way to predict the behavior and fate of contaminants in the environment and has been applied to determine levels of organic microcontaminants in STPs effluent and river water such as steroidal estrogens (Johnson and Williams, 2004). "
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