ArticlePDF Available
Metadata to the MARS spatial database
Lidija Globevnik, Maja Koprivsek & Luka Snoj
Freshwater Metadata Journal
DOI 10.15504/fmj.2017.21
ISSN 2312-6604
Published online: 2017-03-06
Published by University of Natural Resources and
Life Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology and
Aquatic Ecosystem Management, BOKU - Vienna
Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7 DOI 10.15504/fmj.2017.21 ISSN 2312-6604
Metadata to the MARS spatial database
Lidija Globevnik 1, Maja Koprivsek 1 & Luka Snoj 1
1University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Ljubljana, Slovenia; corresponding author:
Please cite this paper as follows: Globevnik L., Koprivsek M. & Snoj L., 2017. Metadata to the MARS spatial
database. Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7.
Received: 2017-01-20 / Published: 2017-03-06
watershed characteristics, rivers/streams, lakes/reservoirs, ground water, ecological status, water quality/water chemistry,
discharge/flow, land use/land cover, population density, nutrient load, climate characteristics
Short description of the dataset/summary
The MARS spatial database (MARSgeoDB) supports analyses of European waters, providing common reference spatial
layers and selected data on indicators of pressures, state and impacts of European waters. It is developed within the
European research project MARS (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) in
accordance with the WISE (Water Information System in Europe) concept. It is built on the ECRINS (European
Catchments and Rivers Network System) spatial database (from the European Environment Agency), consisting of river
segments, lakes and functional elementary catchments (FECs). It includes other available European spatial layers, such as
River Basin Districts (RBDs), RBD sub-units, coastlines, regions, water bodies as reported under the WFD (Water
Framework Directive) in 2010 and WISE SoE (State of Environment) locations.
For spatial objects representing waters in the MARSgeoDB we compiled indicators of pressure, state and impact:
physical-chemical indicators, ecological quality ratio, ecological status, chemical status, hydromorphological status, land
use, population, nitrogen and phosphorus diffuse pollution, Eurostat agricultural data, UWWTD (Urban Waste Water
Treatment Directive) point sources of organic pollution, E-PRTR (The European Pollutant Release and Transfer
Register) point sources of large emissions to water, hydro-morphological changes/naturalness of rivers, meteorological and
hydrological characteristics. To calculate pressures acting on selected locations on waters we derived surface water
receiving areas (polygons representing catchments/hinterlands). We assigned broad ecological types to rivers (20 types)
and lakes (15 types) objects in the MARSgeoDB using abiotic criteria as proposed by EEA ETC/ICM (European Topic
Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters) in 2015. A corresponding water body code and national ecological types
were assigned as well.
Spatial and associated attribute data were quality checked, unified when needed, harmonised and interlinked.
Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7 1
Globevnik, Koprivsek & Snoj
General information
dataset entry ID: MARS_20
name of the dataset:
full name of the dataset: MARS spatial database
dataset short name: MARSgeoDB
type of dataset: environmental characteristics database
data type: vector data (shape files)
science keywords according to GCMD:
topic: Agriculture, Biological Classification, Climate Indicators, Land Surface,
Terrestrial Hydrosphere
keywords: DPSIR, WFD, WISE SoE, watershed characteristics, rivers/streams,
lakes/reservoirs, ground water, ecological status, water quality/water chemistry,
discharge/flow, land use/land cover, population density, precipitation, air
temperature, agriculture production
ISO topic category according to ISO 19115:
Farming, Boundaries, Climatology/Meteorology/Atmosphere, Elevation,
Environment, Inland Waters
Technical and administrative specifications
data format: Access
others/details: ESRI geodatabase feature classes
operating system: all Windows systems
data language: English
current access level: web (public)
web address (URL):
currently available through GBIF:no
exchange planned: no
data in data repository: no
Do you plan to publish the data on the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal:
update level: completed
type: manual
language: English
contact details:
metadata contact person:
first, last name: Lidija Globevnik
phone: +386-41-738623
institution: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering
address: Jamova 2
postal code, city: 1000 Ljubljana
country Slovenia
web address:
technical contact person:
first, last name: Lidija Globevnik
phone: +386-41-738623
2 Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7
Metadata to the MARS spatial database
scientific contact person:
first, last name: Lidija Globevnik
phone: +386-41-738623
Intellectual property rights and citation
dataset creator (data compiler):
contact name: Lidija Globevnik
contact email:
contact institution: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering
data contributors to/owners of this dataset:
citation of this dataset:
author(s): Lidija Globevnik, Maja Koprivsek, Luka Snoj
title: MARS spatial database - European data base for management of water resources
under multiple stress
year: 2016
version: 2
citation of the metadata:
author(s): Globevnik L., Koprivsek M. & Snoj L.
title and journal (name, number, pages):
Metadata to the MARS spatial database. Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7
year: 2017
comments: The use of the content for commercial or non-commercial purposes is permitted
free of charge, provided that the source is acknowledged.
General data specifications
regional coverage of the dataset:
scale of the dataset: continental
continents: Europe
spatial extent (bounding coordinates):
southernmost latitude [°]: 33.727485
northernmost latitude [°]: 71.185599
westernmost longitude [°]: -24.533308
easternmost longitude [°]: 42.642135
minimum altitude: -10 metres
maximum altitude: 4442 metres
countries: Europe: Åland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of
Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta,
Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Kosovo
comments: EU-28 + NO, IS, CH, LI, AD, RS, BA, AL, MK, ME and XK + Turkey
(without Euphrates and Tigris River basins) + part of Syria and Lebanon (Asi
River basin) + parts of Russia (Pregolya, Daugava, Neva, Oulujoki, Kovda and
Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7 3
Globevnik, Koprivsek & Snoj
Lotta River basins), Belarus (Daugava, Neman, Vistula River basins), Ukraine
(Danube and Vistula River basins), Moldova (Danube River basin)
Some layers (feature classes) are not covering all the countries listed above.
world climatic regions according to Köppen:
Group B: dry (arid and semiarid) climates
Group C: temperate/mesothermal climates
Group D: continental/microthermal climate
Group E: polar climates
Group H: alpine climates
freshwater ecoregions of the world (FEOW) according to WWF:
Europe: Aegean Drainages, Barents Sea Drainages, Cantabric Coast -
Languedoc, Central & Western Europe, Central Anatolia, Dalmatia, Dniester -
Lower Danube, Eastern Iberia, Gulf of Venice Drainages, Iceland - Jan Mayen,
Ionian Drainages, Italian Peninsula & Islands, Lake Onega - Lake Ladoga,
Northern Anatolia, Northern Baltic Drainages, Northern British Isles,
Norwegian Sea Drainages, Orontes, Southeastern Adriatic Drainages, Southern
Anatolia, Southern Baltic Lowlands, Southern Iberia, Thrace, Upper Danube,
Vardar, Western Anatolia, Western Iberia, Western Transcaucasia
European ecoregions according to Illies (WFD):
Iberic-Macaronesian Region (ER1), Pyrenees (ER2), Italy, Corsica and Malta
(ER3), Alps (ER4), Dinaric Western Balkan (ER5), Hellenic Western Balkan
(ER6), Eastern Balkan (ER7), Western Highlands (ER8), Central Highlands
(ER9), The Carpathians (ER10), Hungarian Lowlands (ER11), Pontic Province
(ER12), Western Plains (ER13), Central Plains (ER14), Baltic Province (ER15),
Eastern Plains (ER16), Ireland and Northern Ireland (ER17), Great Britain
(ER18), Iceland (ER19), Borealic Uplands (ER20), Tundra (ER21),
Fenno-Scandian Shield (ER22), Taiga (ER23), The Caucasus (ER24)
ecosystem type: rivers, lakes/ponds, groundwater, coastal areas
comments: Different datasets are covered by different data frame. Most pressure and state
data are for year 2010. Climatological data are from periods 1961-90, 1950-2000
and 2001-2010.
Site specifications
coordinate system/grid data: projected, others others: ETRS89_LAEA
datum (e.g. WGS84): D_ETRS_1989
grid data available: yes
resolution: 1
unit: km
comments: Grid data are available for climatological data, land cover data, altitude as well as
slope, population density and population count. Data of different spatial
resolutions are resampled on 1 km grid.
number of sites: >1000
comments: There are different numbers of sites in different layers (feature classes), for
example: 16694 WISE SoE rivers quality stations, 26794 UWWTD discharge
points, 5043 dams, 15016 E-PRTR facility report points. All compiled data have
been linked to the ECRINS catchment and river network system when possible.
4 Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7
Metadata to the MARS spatial database
Climate and environmental data
climate related data:
spatial resolution of the data (if not catchment/site related):
1 km
others: Data are available per catchment (FEC and hinterland) and in grid (in different
original resolutions depending on the source and resampled to 1 km grid).
available parameters per catchment:
mean annual temperature January, July
data source: WorldClim v1.4, JRC Agri4cast
minimal, maximal and mean winter and summer temperatures
data source: WorldClim v1.4, JRC Agri4cast
mean annual precipitation
data source: FAO, WorldClim v1.4,The British Atmospheric Data
Centre, JRC Agri4cast
winter and summer precipitation
data source: GPCC,The British Atmospheric Data Centre, JRC Agri4cast
environmental data:
available parameters per catchment:
catchment size
data source: ECRINS v1.1
catchment geology
data source: BGR - IHME 1500_v11, JRC - SGDBE4, WFD reporting,
catchment land cover/land use
data source: CLC2006 v17, CLC2000Greece, GlobCorine2009, EEA
Copernicus land cover/land use
population density
data source: EEA, Population density disaggregated with CLC2000,
SEDAC Gridded Population v3
presence of barriers/dams/reservoirs (fragmentation)
data source: ECRINS v1.1, ESRI basemap
hydrological regime/flow regime
data source: PCR-GLOBWB (DELTARES, NL)
available parameters per site: catchment land use upstream of sampling site
data source: CLC2006 v17, CLC2000Greece, GlobCorine2009, EEA
Copernicus land cover/land use
catchment land use along a buffer strip (100m width on both sides) upstream
(10km) of the sampling site
data source: CLC2006 v17, CLC2000Greece, GlobCorine2009,EEA
Copernicus land cover/land use
river length
data source: ECRINS v1.1
distance to source
data source: ECRINS v1.1
distance to mouth
data source: ECRINS v1.1
stream order (according to Strahler)
data source: ECRINS v1.1
Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7 5
Globevnik, Koprivsek & Snoj
data source: EU DEM
data source: EU DEM
data source: GRDC - EWA
physico-chemistry data: total P, ortho P, nitrate, total N, ammonium, hardness, TOC (total organic
carbon), oxygen content, BOD5 (biochemical oyxgen demand), water
temperature, pH, conductivity, chlorophyll, Secci disc depth, suspended solids
other physico-chemical parameters:
chemical oxygen demand, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved oxygen, Kjeldahl
nitrogen, silicate
availability of physico-chemical data, if there is more than one sample per site:
mean values per site
comments: These are yearly average data measured at WISE SoE quality stations. For
catchments (FEC) we have calculated nitrogen and phosphorus inputs in tonne
per year.
stressors influencing the sites:
reference sites available: no
stressor restored sites
data before/after
stressor gradient
eutrophication no no no TotP, total N, orthophoshate
no no no alteration of natural riparian
organic pollution no no no represented by BOD5,
ammonium and nitrates
general degradation no no no EQR of invertebrates, EQR of
hydrologic stress
(e.g. impoundment,
flow velocity
hydropeaking, water
abstraction, flow
velocity increase)
no no no flow alteration ratio
(abstraction/no abstraction)
comments: Proxy stressors for eutrophicaton are also: 1) share of agricultural land in
catchment (upstream drainage area), in local drainage area (FEC = functionally
elementary catchment) and along the river (buffer/strip area), 2) level of urban
waste water treatment, 3) population density and 4) data on agricultural
activities such are total yearly input of N and P (tonnes/year).
Other specifications
GIS layers, shapes related to the dataset:
hydrological information (as HydroSHEDS)
catchments, river-sub-basins
land use
6 Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7
Metadata to the MARS spatial database
protected areas
population density
environmental variables (freshwater or terrestrial)
climatic variables (current and predictions)
others (specify): polygons: EUROSTAT NUTS, country borders, coastal line, WFD ecoregions
(Illies), biogeographical regions (EEA, Habitat Directive), broad hydroregions
(IC fish), hydro ecoregions (Rebecca project), WWF hydro regions
point objects: WFD surface water bodies (2010), WFD groundwater bodies
(2010) WISE SoE stations, EFI+ stations
availability of photos: no
availability of maps: yes
quality control procedures:
Were any quality control procedures applied to your dataset?
quality control protocols and comments:
When linking point pressure/state data to ECRINS hydrological catchments
and river network data, spatial quality checks were performed as well as
attributive QA checks (river name check, (sub)catchment check).
This work was funded by the MARS project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress),
funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 603378.
Daniel Hering, Laurence Carvalho, Christine Argillier, Meryem Beklioglu, Angel Borja, Ana Cristina Cardoso, Harm
Duel, Teresa Ferreira, Lidija Globevnik, Jenica Hanganu, Seppo Hellsten, Erik Jeppesen, Vit Kodes, Anne Lyche Solheim,
Tiina Nõges, Steve Ormerod, Yiannis Panagopoulos, Stefan Schmutz, Markus Venohr, Sebastian Birk, 2015. Managing
aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress - An introduction to the MARS project
ETC/ICM, 2015. European Freshwater Ecosystem Assessment: Cross-walk between the Water Framework Directive
and Habitats Directive types, status and pressures. ETC/ICM Technical Report 2/2015. Magdeburg: European Topic
Centre on inland, coastal and marine waters, 95 pp. plus Annexes.
Freshwater Metadata Journal 21: 1-7 7
Example layer from MARS spatial database
Figure below shows layer of FECs coloured by broad river type. Each FEC has been assigned one
representative river broad type (delegated from a river segment that represents FEC outflow). Number
in legend represents broad river type as defined by ETC/ICM (2015).
... The 500-year return period flood covers almost 10 % of the Continental and 8 % of the Atlantic biogeographical region (Table 3.2.1). Source(s): floodplain extent of MARS geodatabase (Globevnik et al., 2017). ...
... Rivers, lagoons, coastal wetlands and estuaries are excluded from modelled morphological floodplain. Source(s): floodplain extent of MARS geodatabase(Globevnik et al., 2017).Urban areas spread on more than 30 % of potential floodplains in all of Western Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium(Fig. 3.3.2). ...
... 2.2: Share of urban areas (left) and agricultural areas (right) in morphological floodplains in Europe.Notes: Results aggregated at sub-catchment level (FEC -functional elementary catchment) Source(s): floodplain extent of the MARS geodatabase(Globevnik et al., 2017).METHODOLOGY: The assessment of anthropogenic alterations of land use types in floodplain areas across Europe that do no longer have a character of »naturalness« is done by calculating the share of present urban and agricultural area existing in morphological floodplains. The share of urban areas and croplands (as land that is intensively used by agriculture) is used as a proxy indicator of permanent loss of potential (historical) floodplains. ...
Floodplains are part of Europe’s natural capital, covering 3-5% of Europe’s area, and 50-60% of Europe’s Natura 2000 sites. It is estimated that 80-90% of the floodplain area is ecologically degraded. Due to the high degree of ecological degradation, floodplains have reduced capacity to provide key ecosystem services like reduction of flood risk, nutrient retention, and in-creased biodiversity or nature based recreation, all of which are needed to fulfil objec-tives of several EU policies. Natural water retention measures are viable alternatives to structural flood protection that in addition support multiple ecosystem functions. However, they require consistent x-policy implementation and stakeholder engagement, and hence need to be incorpo-rated into existing planning mechanisms, such as river basin management plans. Once implemented, natural water retention measures deliver high quality cultural services that are readily taken up by the public, expressed as increased recreational use.
... Rivers were sources of protein (including fish, turtles, waterfowl, mussels, and snails) and drinking water for land mammals, and provided foraging areas of dense river plants, seeds, and fruit (e.g., Clarke, 1976). We use European river data generated from the MARS geodatabase (Globevnik et al., 2017;Lyche Solheim et al., 2019). The classification consists of two "top-down" generalized hydrological classifications of all Europe's rivers based on altitude, size, and basin geology which correct the artificial modifications of the hydrology carried starting in the eighteenth century. ...
Full-text available
The Mesolithic in Eastern Europe was the last time that hunter-gatherer economies thrived there before the spread of agriculture in the second half of the seventh millennium BC. But the period, and the interactions between foragers and the first farmers, are poorly understood in the Carpathian Basin and surrounding areas because few sites are known, and even fewer have been excavated and published. How did site location differ between Mesolithic and Early Neolithic settlers? And where should we look for rare Mesolithic sites? Proximity analysis is seldom used for predictive modeling for hunter-gatherer sites at large scales, but in this paper, we argue that it can serve as an important starting point for prospection for rare and poorly understood sites. This study uses proximity analysis to provide quantitative landscape associations of known Mesolithic and Early Neolithic sites in the Carpathian Basin to show how Mesolithic people chose attributes of the landscape for camps, and how they differed from the farmers who later settled. We use elevation and slope, rivers, wetlands prior to the twentieth century, and the distribution of lithic raw materials foragers and farmers used for toolmaking to identify key proxies for preferred locations. We then build predictive models for the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic in the Pannonian region to highlight parts of the landscape that have relatively higher probabilities of having Mesolithic sites still undiscovered and contrast them with the settlement patterns of the first farmers in the area. We find that large parts of Pannonia conform to landforms preferred by Mesolithic foragers, but these areas have not been subject to investigation.
... Asimismo, destaca, aunque a escala europea, el proyecto denominado "Gestión de los ecosistemas acuáticos y los recursos hídricos bajo estrés múltiple", conocido también como MARS, siglas procedentes de su título en inglés "Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress", financiado en virtud del Séptimo Programa Marco. Este proyecto finalizó el 31 de enero de 2018, aunque sus resultados y los datos generados todavía se pueden consultar, siendo de gran valor para investigaciones a escala europea sobre los cursos fluviales; y que determinó que el 43% de los ríos europeos se encuentran perturbados por más de una presión, destacando principalmente la degradación hidromorfológica y la contaminación difusa (Hering, et al., 2015;Globevnik, et al., 2017). Otros proyectos muy prometedores, y que se han utilizado en la presente investigación debido a la gran calidad de sus datos, se exponen en el siguiente apartado correspondiente al desarrollo metodológico. ...
Durante miles de años los ríos han jugado un papel fundamental en las sociedades humanas, proporcionando agua para usos domésticos y agrícolas, así como medio imprescindible para el transporte, la producción industrial y la generación de energía eléctrica. Por ello, los ríos son fuentes esenciales de riqueza económica, salud ambiental y también elementos de cohesión cultural. En las últimas décadas y debido a las necesidades crecientes de agua dulce, el número de presas y embalses se ha incrementado de manera muy importante en todo el Mundo, poniendo en peligro la conectividad de muchos ríos, y produciendo graves repercusiones medioambientales. La presente investigación se centra en el análisis de la conectividad longitudinal de los ríos de la Comunidad de Madrid, mediante una evaluación comparada de diferentes proyectos globales de mapeo hidrográfico, por medio de Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG) en alta resolución espacial.
... All data were compiled and modelled for sub-catchment units named 'Functional Elementary Catchments' (FEC) that were derived from the Catchment Characterisation and Modelling dataset and topologically integrated into the European Catchments and Rivers Network System (ECRINS) database (EEA, 2012a). The model encompasses more than 104,000 FECs (Globevnik et al., 2017); for 52,847 of these, data on all seven stressors and on ecological status could be compiled ...
Full-text available
The biota of European rivers are affected by a wide range of stressors impairing water quality and hydro‐morphology. Only about 40% of Europe’s rivers reach ‘good ecological status’, a target set by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and indicated by the biota. It is yet unknown how the different stressors in concert impact ecological status and how the relationship between stressors and status differs between river types. We linked the intensity of seven stressors to recently measured ecological status data for more than 50,000 sub‐catchment units (covering almost 80% of Europe’s surface area), which were distributed among twelve broad river types. Stressor data were either derived from remote sensing data (extent of urban and agricultural land use in the riparian zone) or modelled (alteration of mean annual flow and of base flow, total phosphorous load, total nitrogen load and mixture toxic pressure, a composite metric for toxic substances), while data on ecological status were taken from national statutory reporting of the second WFD River Basin Management Plans for the years 2010 to 2015. We used Boosted Regression Trees to link ecological status to stressor intensities. The stressors explained on average 61% of deviance in ecological status for the twelve individual river types, with all seven stressors contributing considerably to this explanation. On average 39.4% of the deviance was explained by altered hydro‐morphology (morphology: 23.2%; hydrology: 16.2%), 34.4% by nutrient enrichment and 26.2% by toxic substances. More than half of the total deviance was explained by stressor interaction, with nutrient enrichment and toxic substances interacting most frequently and strongly. Our results underline that the biota of all European river types are determined by co‐occurring and interacting multiple stressors, lending support to the conclusion that fundamental management strategies at the catchment‐scale are required to reach the ambitious objective of good ecological status of surface waters.
... Step 9 to show their geographical distribution in all of Europe by combining available GIS data on altitude, size and geology with the MARS geodatabase (Globevnik et al., 2017) at a scale of functional elementary catchments (FECs), with a mean spatial extent of 62 km 2 . This is called the top-down approach and allowed us to include rivers and lakes from countries that had not reported their data to WISE, e.g. ...
Full-text available
European countries have defined >1000 national river types and >400 national lake types to implement the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). In addition, common river and lake types have been defined within regions of Europe for intercalibrating the national classification systems for ecological status of water bodies. However, only a low proportion of national types correspond to these common intercalibration types. This causes uncertainty concerning whether the classification of ecological status is consistent across countries. Therefore, through an extensive dialogue with and data provision from all EU countries, we have developed a generic typology for European rivers and lakes. This new broad typology reflects the natural variability in the most commonly used environmental type descriptors: altitude, size and geology, as well as mean depth for lakes. These broad types capture 60–70% of all national WFD types including almost 80% of all European river and lake water bodies in almost all EU countries and can also be linked to all the common intercalibration types. The typology provides a new framework for large-scale assessments across country borders, as demonstrated with an assessment of ecological status and pressures based on European data from the 2nd set of river basin management plans. The typology can also be used for a variety of other large-scale assessments, such as reviewing and linking the water body types to habitat types under the Habitats Directive and the European Nature Information System (EUNIS), as well as comparing type-specific limit values for nutrients and other supporting quality elements across countries. Thus, the broad typology can build the basis for all scientific outputs of managerial relevance related to water body types.
... We assigned the gridded hydrologic data from PCR-GLOBWB to the 104,334 functional elementary catchments (FECs) of Europe, with an average area of ≈60 km 2 [40], available in the database of the project MARS [41,42]. The FEC background layer was selected as the best hydrogeographical background layer at pan-European scale, available at the time of this research, being a robust mapping product of suitable resolution to capture the gridded information of the PCR-GLOBWB model. ...
Full-text available
The hydrologic regime of a river is one of the factors determining its ecological status. This paper tries to indicate the present hydrologic stress occurring across European rivers on the basis of model integration. This results in a pan-European assessment at the resolution of the functional elementary catchment (FEC), based on simulated daily time-series of river flows from the model PCR-GLOBWB. To estimate proxies of the present hydrologic stress, two datasets of river flow were simulated under the same climate, one from a hypothetic least disturbed condition scenario and the second from the anthropogenic scenario with the actual water management occurring. Indicators describing the rivers’ hydrologic regime were calculated with the indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA) software package and the river total mean flow and the relative baseflow magnitude over the total flow were used to express the deviations between the two scenarios as proxy metrics of rivers’ hydrologic alteration or hydrologic stress. The alteration results on Europe’s FEC-level background showed that Southern Europe is more hydrologically stressed than the rest of Europe, with greater potential for hydrology to be clearly associated with river segments of unreached good ecological status and high basin management needs.
... to EUROSTAT on country level and disaggregated to functional elementary catchment (FEC) level according to the share of national agricultural land within a FEC. Data processed and aggregated as given by the EEA catchments and Rivers Network System ECRINS (EEA 2012b). Data source: inGlobevnik et. al. (2017). ...
Full-text available
This chapter deals with human stressors at the European scale. A short introduction scopes the problem with a brief review of the historical evolution on how we see stressors and its drivers, and its present predomination, including oversight trends of land use in Europe. The second chapter highlights individual stressors and their combinations across Europe, including those directly acting along river segments and at the catchment scale, for the considered European freshwater hydro-regions. The integrated results of these stressors on biological quality elements/ecological integrity are then described based on the latest results from river basin management plans. Final conclusions outline multi-stressor conflicts and possible ways forward to improve conservation and restoration of European rivers and related management.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Marine litter is a complex issue that is rooted in our patterns of production and consumption and how we deal with waste. The present ETC report aimed at assessing marine litter from source to sea, emphasizing the causalities between socio-economic drivers, pressures, and the state of pollution in Europe’s coastal and marine environments. This comprehensive and integrated study included i) material flow analyses and comparison of the shares and amounts of plastic packaging waste mismanaged in 2012 and 2018 in the 32 EEA countries + UK, as well as in coastal areas; ii) scope of estimations of riverine litter discharged into European seas; iii) literature review and indicator-based assessment of the status of marine litter pollution in relation to specific thresholds; iv) appraisal of the perceived situation in relation to European policy objectives and targets. Regional differences in terms of pressures and state of litter pollution emerged from the study. The assessment shows that efforts in improving waste management in Europe, even if evident, are insufficient to offset an intensification in plastic production and waste generation and reduce the amount of mismanaged plastic waste that may end up in the environment. In fact, most of the assessed areas in terms of marine litter pollution were classified as “potential problem areas”, and the situation may deteriorate if the trend in the level of pressure is not reverted.
Technical Report
Full-text available
River floodplains hold a central role in supporting the status of water, nature and biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and ecosystem services. They build an important link between rivers and their catchments, mainly through their water retention capacity and the lateral connectivity controlled by flood events and groundwater exchange, together with the presence of structural features such as side channels and wetlands. Today, floodplains are environmentally degraded due to many human activities such as settlement and agriculture existing for centuries. Studies suggest that only 10–30 % of Europe’s floodplains remained in their natural conditions, often because lateral connectivity between the river and floodplain has been reduced. European policies such as the Water Framework, Floods, and Habitats Directives support the improvement and protection of floodplains. Recently the EU has adopted the European Green Deal, which aims to put Europe on a path of sustainable development through its EU Biodiversity 2030 Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy, Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, Climate Law, Zero Pollution Action Plan, Climate Adaptation Strategy and Forest Strategy. Among the many steps of achieving the Green Deal objectives, the EU Biodiversity 2030 Strategy has set a target to create free-flowing rivers along at least 25 000 km of rivers in Europe, through removal of barriers and restoration of floodplains and wetlands. It is important to address floodplains through European policies as future pressures are likely to increase. Across Europe, new developments threaten even the presently least disturbed floodplains. The main objective of this report is to present a methodology for assessing floodplain condition in terms of extent, structure and processes on a European scale, together with the first results. The methodological approach builds on similar elements to those used to assess water body ecological status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and is performed using datasets available with Europe wide coverage, analysed at the sub-catchment level. The datasets available include a Copernicus riparian zone dataset, modelled hydrological parameters, and results from the ‘Free-Flowing Rivers’ database. This study did not have access to datasets on flood protection structures or other hydromorphological pressures, hampering an explicit assessment of lateral connectivity. Such data would greatly improve results.
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Aquatic ecosystems are affected by man-made pressures, often causing combined impacts. The analysis of the impacts of chemical pollution is however commonly separate from that of other pressures and their impacts. This evolved from differences in the data available for applied ecology vis-à-vis applied ecotoxicology, which are field gradients and laboratory toxicity tests, respectively. With this study, we demonstrate that the current approach of chemical impact assessment, consisting of comparing measured concentrations to protective environmental quality standards for individual chemicals, is not optimal. In reply, and preparing for a method that would enable the comprehensive assessment and management of water quality pressures, we evaluate various quantitative chemical pollution pressure metrics for mixtures of chemicals in a case study with 24 priority substances of Europe-wide concern. We demonstrate why current methods are sub-optimal for water quality management prioritization and that chemical pollution currently imposes limitations to the ecological status of European surface waters. We discuss why management efforts may currently fail to restore a good ecological status, given that to date only 0.2% of the compounds in trade are considered in European water quality assessment and management.
European Freshwater Ecosystem Assessment: Cross-walk between the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directive types, status and pressures
  • Etc Icm
ETC/ICM, 2015. European Freshwater Ecosystem Assessment: Cross-walk between the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directive types, status and pressures. ETC/ICM Technical Report 2/2015. Magdeburg: European Topic Centre on inland, coastal and marine waters, 95 pp. plus Annexes.