1. introduction

Page Last modified 20 Apr 2016, 02:33 PM


This report catalogues and summarises the data contained within databases associated with international monitoring programmes which are relevant to the EEA’s needs. The main output from this project is a searchable electronic metadatabase of these databases that allows rapid identification of geographical areas, parameters measured and temporal coverage of the data. It is intended that the report and the database will be a source of information to be used alongside other reports and inventories produced by the Inland Waters Topic Centre. These include a review of the international monitoring requirements for monitoring surface and groundwaters (Nixon et al., (1996); inventories of EEA Member States monitoring networks, surface quality (Kristensen 1995) and surface quantity (Rees et al., 1996) networks, and groundwater quality and quantity monitoring networks (Koreimann et al., 1996). The information contained in these reports will be used when implementing the freshwater monitoring network designed for the EEA area (Nixon et al., 1996), and will be recorded in the EEA’s Catalogue of Data Sources.

The monitoring programmes recorded in the metadatabase fall into three broad categories:

  • those produced from monitoring schemes derived to support EC legislation;
  • those related to international conventions based in Europe; and
  • those derived from international conventions based outside Europe such as the UNEP/WHO/UNESCO/WMO project on global water quality monitoring (GEMS/WATER).

Four different sources of information have been used to compile the metadatabase:

  • data relating to international Conventions agreed between the EEA countries, obtained from the database developed in the project MW1;
  • published reports and other literature relating to different monitoring programmes, including Paris and Oslo Commission (PARCOM) reports, Helsinki Commission reports, the Dobris Assessment, UNEP publications, etc.; and
  • information available on the Internet.

Data obtained from these sources were augmented by distribution of a questionnaire to key organisations.

This report summarises the main aspects of the metadatabase, it provides information on each of the data sources together with the type of data included, countries and water bodies covered and the parameters measured. This report is only able to portray the information within the metadatabase using a few relatively simple examples. However, the electronic version is able to exploit the full flexibility of this media and allows limitless combinations of reporting the data, in line with the users requirements.

Sections 2-6 describe the different sections of the metadatabase covering geographical and temporal coverage, the water bodies included, the parameters reported and the format of data storage.

It should be noted that the report and database are compiled from the best available information as described. The review process (with National Focal Points and National Reference Centres) revealed additional information and/or errors. Appropriate amendments and additions have been made in this final agreed version of the report.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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