There is a need to increase the comparability of data with regard to human interventions and to extend data collection to all EEA countries.
The regionalisation of the continent should, if required for the comparison of human interventions, be based on hydrological characteristics and/or on human pressures and demand.
The investigation on significant human interventions in the hydrological cycle should be extended to all EEA countries to give a representative overview of the situation across Europe. The reasons for an intervention should, in particular, be outlined in a detailed way, which may help in defining the most appropriate comparative regions. The importance of interventions nationally, regionally and across Europe should then be able to be assessed.
Single interventions should be investigated separately with more detailed assessments on the impacts on water quality.
At this stage of the Project the different human activities have not been fully quantified at a national or European level. For example, there appears to be no real information on the extent/intensity of different activities affecting the hydrological cycle. Information such as on the number of dams in a Member State and the catchment area affected, or the approximate length/% of river channelised or under flow regulation might be feasible to obtain in the near future. Indeed work undertaken by the ETC/IW on developing a reservoirs database has begun to quantify the number of dams, reservoirs and lakes across the EEA area. The next phase of this study must address these issues and should suggest a list of data/information which each Member State could supply in the medium term (next two or three years).
It is recommended that the methodology and definitions used in this scoping study are further refined and developed in light of the experience obtained. Information gathering should then be extended to other EEA Member States. It should be noted that the work on human interventions affecting groundwater quality and quantity will be addressed in the Groundwater Quality and Quantity Monograph to be produced by the ETC/IW in 1997 under the 1996 subvention.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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