5. Monitoring - Basic Requirements

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There are certain requirements for monitoring which can be classed as ‘basic requirements’ since they are, to a large extent, predetermined by the objectives of the directive/agreement. Such requirements are:

  • water type (i.e. groundwater, rivers, lakes/reservoirs, estuaries and coastal waters);
  • matrix (i.e. water column (including suspended sediments), settled sediment and biota); and,
  • determinand type (both quantity and quality determinands).

Appendix D summarises the monitoring requirements made in EU legislation and other international agreements according to these criteria.

These monitoring requirements can be analysed using the multivariate statistical techniques described in Section 3.2, namely clustering and multidimensional scaling (MDS), to give a simple two dimensional picture of the similarities between the requirements. Figures 5.1 to 5.6 show the results of the analysis for EU legislation and international agreements.

For EU legislation, the key features to note are (Figures 5.1 and 5.2):

  • the extreme similarity between many of the directives when considering them at this high level (i.e. not taking into account analysis methods, sampling frequency etc.) for example, between the Dangerous Substances Daughter Directives. In these cases the similarities can be attributed to same water types, matrices and similar determinands being measured;
  • the distinct dissimilarity of the Proposed Landfill Directive from all other directives as it is the only proposed directive which applies exclusively to groundwater; and,
  • the definition of two clusters at around the thirty percent similarity level. This clustering can be attributed to the type of water monitored, those directives in the top cluster are only associated with one water type, usually fresh water, and those in the lower cluster have monitoring associated with many water types.

Figure 5.2 is the result of an MDS analysis of the same data and broadly reveals the same groupings as those defined by the clustering technique. The key feature to note here is the distinct similarity of many of the directives at this high level of analysis so that they collapse to a single point on the map. The plot also provides information on dissimilarity of the other directives:

  • the Shellfish Waters Directive forms a singleton group as this is the only directive for which marine monitoring only is required;
  • the proposed Landfill Directive forms a singleton group as this is the only directive requiring groundwater monitoring exclusively;
  • the Freshwater Fish Directive, Exchange of Information Decisions, the Surface Water and its Sampling Directive (Sampling and Analysis in the Figures) together with the Drinking Water Directive form a group which only require monitoring of freshwaters.

The relationships between directives can be further illustrated using Venn diagrams, Figures 5.3a and 5.3b outline both the commonalties and differences in terms of water body type and matrix sampled. The same general patterns described above can again be seen in these diagrams. For example, Figure 5.3a clearly shows that two directives, the Titanium Dioxide and Nitrates Directives, require monitoring of all types of water body. Figure 5.3b illustrates the same data with respect to the matrix required to be monitored. The most striking feature of this figure is that it shows that all directives require water sampling whilst one (the Shellfish Waters Directive) requires water and biota sampling and eight require sampling of all three matrices.

An identical set of analyses has also been undertaken for the international agreements using the multivariate techniques and Venn diagrams. Figures 5.4 to 5.6 show the cluster analysis, MDS plots and Venn diagrams, respectively. The primary feature to note from the dendogram (Figure 5.4) is division into two distinct clusters.

  • at the top are those agreements with few determinands specified or non specified at all. At the very top of the dendogram is the 1992 Transboundary Waters agreement, the only one with a groundwater monitoring requirement.
  • the bottom grouping comprises those agreements with very detailed monitoring requirements in terms of matrix and determinands. A subgroup of this, at the bottom of the dendogram, contains the North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea and Arctic Sea agreements, all of which have marine monitoring requirements.

The MDS plot in Figure 5.5 shows a good correlation with the dendogram and all of the clusters described above can easily be picked out in the plot. For example, A12, Transboundary Waters 1992 is on its own as it requires groundwater monitoring. Those agreements above the diagonal line have few detailed requirements specified whereas those below do. The marine monitoring agreements (A2, A5 etc.) also congregate in the middle right of the ordination. Those to the bottom right are for freshwaters with detailed monitoring requirements.

The Venn diagrams, Figure 5.6a and b, illustrate the dominance of freshwater as the waterbody type for monitoring. All the reviewed international agreements require monitoring of the water matrix with only one agreement, the Convention on Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, requiring monitoring for all three types of waterbody.

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Key to Figures 5.1-5.3

Ald Aldrin Directive (88/347/EEC) Hg82 Mercury Directive (82/883/EEC)
BW Bathing Waters Directive (76/160/EEC) Hg84 Mercury Directive (84/156/EEC)
BW(p) Proposed Bathing Waters Directive (COM(94)36) Land (p) Proposed Landfill Directive (COM (93)275
Cd Cadmium Directive (83/513/EEC) N Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC)
CTC Carbon tetrachloride Directive (86/280/EEC) Sfish Shellfish Water Directive (79/923/EEC)
DCE Dichloroethane Directive (90/415/EEC) S&A; Sampling and Analysis Directive (79/869/EEC)
DW Drinking Water Directive (80/778/EEC) TiO2 Titanium Dioxide Directive (82/883/EEC)
EQ(p) Proposed Ecological Directive (COM(93)680) UWWT Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC)
FF Freshwater Fish Directive (78/659/EEC) X Exchange of Information Decision (77/795/EEC)
HCH Hexachlorocyclohexane Directive (84/491/EEC)

Figure 5.1 Cluster analysis dendogram of the similarity between the monitoring requirements made in EU legislation according to water type, matrix and determinand

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Figure 5.2 Multi-Dimensional scaling ordination of similarity between the monitoring requirements made in EU legislation according to water type, matrix and determinand

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Figure 5.3 Venn diagram showing the similarities between the monitoring requirements made in EU legislation

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Notes: A list of the full names for international agreements is given in Appendix A, Table A.2

Figure 5.4 Cluster analysis dendogram of the similarity between international agreements according to water type, matrix and determinand

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Notes: A list of the full names for international agreements is given in Appendix A, Table A.2

Figure 5.5 Multi-Dimensional Scaling ordination of similarity between international agreements according to water type, matrix and determinand

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Notes: A list of the full names for international agreements is given in Appendix A, Table A.2

Figure 5.6 Venn diagram showing the similarities in monitoring requirements made under international agreements

The figures above, together with Table D.1 in Appendix D which lists the EU legislation and international agreements according to water type and matrix, provide an indication of the similarities between and possible overlaps of existing monitoring requirements. This is discussed briefly below.

5.1. Groundwater

A summary of the requirements for groundwater monitoring made in EU legislation and in international agreements is given in Appendix D, Table D.2. This summary indicates that international requirements for groundwater monitoring are limited and that there is no overlap in the current monitoring requirements for groundwater.

5.1.1. EU legislation

In total four directives and one proposed directive make requirements for groundwater monitoring (the requirements made in the Dangerous Substances Directive (76/464/EEC) have been superseded by the Groundwater Directive (80/86/EEC)). Those requiring routine monitoring are:

  • the Titanium Dioxide Directive (82/883/EEC) which requires that where discharges of titanium waste are made to land, unfiltered groundwater around the site, including where necessary outflow points, must be monitored once a year for six determinands (plus seven optional determinands); and,
  • the proposed Landfill Directive (COM(93)275) which requires analysis every six months for a range of determinands, including groundwater level, depending on the leachate composition.

The other three directives require only preliminary or sporadic monitoring:

  • the Groundwater Directive (80/86/EEC) requires investigation only prior to authorising dangerous substances;
  • the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires monitoring to identify vulnerable zones (i.e. those where nitrate is or may be greater than 50 mg l-1); and,
  • the Drinking Water Directive (80/778/EEC) which requires investigation before exploitation of sources for drinking water supply (after this monitoring is only required at the point of use).

The European Commission is currently developing a groundwater management and action plan which may require a revision of the Groundwater Directive.

5.1.2. Other international agreements

The only international agreement requiring monitoring of groundwater is the 1992 Convention on Transboundary Water Courses. This requires the riparian states to ‘agree upon pollution determinands and pollution whose discharges and concentrations shall be regularly monitored’. There is also a requirement for the states to harmonise rules for the setting up and operation of monitoring programmes, measurement systems, devises, analytical techniques, data processing and evaluation procedures, and methods for the registration of pollutants discharged.

5.2. Fresh surface waters

In EU legislation, all monitoring requirements which apply to rivers, also apply to lakes and reservoirs, they can therefore be referred to jointly under the general term fresh surface waters. This is often the term used in directives although other terms such as inland surface waters are also used frequently. In addition, most directives which apply to freshwaters also apply to saltwaters, the exceptions to this are:

  • the Drinking Water Directive (only preliminary investigations);
  • the Surface Water Directive and its Sampling Directive;
  • the Exchange of Information Decisions; and,
  • the Freshwater Fish Directive.

This aggregation of requirements does not occur with other international agreements which often apply only to one specific water body.

The requirements made for monitoring surface waters are summarised in Appendix D, Table D.3.

5.2.1. EU legislation

There are 15 directives which require monitoring of fresh surface waters. Several of the requirements are not, however, for routine monitoring:

  • the Drinking Water Directive (freshwater only) only requires monitoring of the source before exploitation;
  • the Nitrates Directive requires monitoring initially and then every four years to identify areas requiring protection: and,
  • the Urban Waste Water Treatment (UWWT) Directive (as for the Nitrates Directive).

Routine monitoring is required by:

  • the Bathing Water Directive;
  • the Dangerous Substances Directives;
  • the Titanium Dioxide Directive;
  • the Freshwater Fish Directive; and,
  • the Exchange of Information Decisions.

Of the directives which require routine monitoring, the requirements are generally site specific, either sites designated for a specific use, sites affected by a specific discharge, or, for the Exchange of Information Decisions (freshwater only), agreed sites in main rivers. The degree of overlap will therefore depend on the degree to which these categories overlap. Clearly the requirements for monitoring shellfish waters (estuaries and coastal waters only) do not overlap with the requirements for freshwater uses, namely Freshwater Fish, and surface water.

All of these directives require water column monitoring. The Dangerous Substances Directives and the Titanium Dioxide Directive also require monitoring of sediment and biota.

The determinands covered by the Surface Water Directive, the Exchange of Information Decisions and the Freshwater Fisheries Directive are similar. The Daughter Directives made under the Dangerous Substance Directive are mutually exclusive. The Exchange of Information Decisions make the only requirements for flow measurements in fresh surface waters. They state that flow has to be measured by flowmeter at the time of sampling for the other stipulated determinands, and results should be expressed in m3 s-1 to four significant figures before and two after the decimal point. This requirement applies to specified rivers in Europe and also Lake Ijssel in the Netherlands.

The proposed Ecological Directive is due to replace the Surface Water, Freshwater Fish and Shellfish Directives. It will require Member States to undertake monitoring for basic and biological determinands in all surface waters for classification purposes. The Bathing Water and Drinking Water Directives are also being reviewed.

5.2.2. Other international agreements

Specific agreements cover the:

  • Lake Inari (1959 between Finland, Norway and Russia);
  • Lake Constance (1960 and 1966 between Austria, Germany and Switzerland);
  • Moselle (1961 between Germany, France, Luxembourg and 1986 between France and Luxembourg);
  • Sarre (1961 between Germany, France);
  • Lake Geneva (1962 between France and Switzerland);
  • Rhine (1976 between Germany, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland and 1989 on hydrology between aforementioned countries with Austria);
  • Danube (Bucharest Declaration 1985, between Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Hungary; Regensburg Agreement 1987 between Austria and Germany and Sofia Agreement 1994 between Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and the Ukraine);
  • Elbe (1990 between Germany, Czech and Slovak Republic);
  • Meuse (1994 between Belgium, France and Netherlands); and,
  • Scheldt (1994 between Belgium, France and Netherlands).

More general agreements are made in:

  • Convention on Transboundary Watercourses (1992 all EEA countries except Ireland and Greece);
  • Agreement on Frontier Rivers (1971 all rivers between Finland and Sweden);
  • Agreement on Boundary Water Courses (1980 all water courses between Finland and Norway); and,
  • Paris Convention (1974 all rivers entering the North Sea between riparian states).

With the exception of the Rhine and Lake Geneva (and measurement of the saprobic index for the Danube) requirements for monitoring under these agreements is confined to the water column. The Rhine Action programme considers the ecosystem as a whole rather than just concentrating on water monitoring, and has a goal of making the Rhine a suitable habitat for higher species, such as the salmon by the year 2000. There is also the aim of reducing substantially the pollution of river sediment by toxic substances so that it can be again used as a filling material on the land and in the sea. Monitoring of biota and sediment are, therefore, also required. In Lake Geneva, monitoring is undertaken at 200 sediment sites.

5.3. Salt waters

Most directives which apply to freshwaters also apply to salt waters (see above). The Shellfish Waters Directive is the only directive which applies to estuaries and coastal waters but not freshwaters. This requires monitoring of the water column and metals in shellfish flesh (the requirement to monitor faecal coliforms in internal valvular liquid is superseded by the Shellfish Hygiene Directive (91/492/EEC)).

International agreements to protect salt waters, include those to protect the:

  • Lough Foyle (1952 between UK and Ireland);
  • Mediterranean Sea (Barcelona Convention 1976, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and the EC);
  • Baltic Sea (Helsinki Convention 1974/1992 Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the EC, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Ukraine);
  • North East Atlantic (Oslo Convention 1972, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and UK; Paris Convention 1974, as for Oslo except for Finland and including Luxembourg, and North-East Atlantic Convention 1992, as for Oslo including Luxembourg and the EC);
  • Adriatic Sea (1974, between Greece and Slovenia);
  • North Sea (North Sea Conferences, 1987, 1990 and 1994 between riparian states, and the North Sea Task Force 1987 between Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK); and,
  • Arctic Sea (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme agreed at a Ministerial meeting between Arctic States 1991).

All the above agreements require monitoring of the water column. For the Barcelona Convention this requirement is made only for coastal waters, whereas the Helsinki, Oslo and Paris Conventions also require monitoring of estuaries, and for the Paris Convention, also rivers. In addition, these latter three conventions require monitoring for sediment and biota, although monitoring of biota and sediment is undertaken in the Barcelona Convention area under the auspices of the Mediterranean Action Plan, co-ordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

A summary of monitoring requirements for salt waters is given in Appendix D, Table D.3.

5.4. Quantity monitoring

There are relatively few directives and international agreements which require monitoring of water quantity (compared to quality). These are, therefore, described separately. Requirements for monitoring water quantity are summarised in Table D.4 of Appendix D and discussed briefly below.

There are only two directives that have requirements for the monitoring of quantity determinands in surface and groundwater:

  • the Exchange of Information Decisions require flow to be measured by flowmeter at the time of sampling for the other stipulated determinands; and,
  • the proposed Landfill Directive will require the level of groundwater to be monitored.

There are eight international agreements requiring the monitoring of quantity determinands (Table D.4), all of which require river flow measurements. Two also require measurement of river level and one of the level of lake water. Generally monitoring must be undertaken at fixed nominated sites over the whole year.

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