4. summary of information on different water types

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4.1 Sampling sites for each country

The number of sampling sites in each country involved in the monitoring programmes has been recorded according to the types of water covered, namely:

  • rivers;
  • lakes;
  • estuaries;
  • marine and coastal waters; and
  • groundwater.

Tables B.1 to B.5 in Appendix B show the number of sites where monitoring has been carried out per country and programme in each of the five types of water.

Different monitoring programmes use different sampling units. For example, the Exchange of Information Decisions and the UNESCO Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data (FRIEND) programme define the sampling site as a sampling station or gauging station, whilst the Oslo and Paris Convention’s Joint Monitoring Programme defines areas, each with a number of sampling sites. The specific "site" definitions for each monitoring programme are shown in Table 4.1.

Table 4.1 Definition of a sampling site per monitoring programme

Database name Type of sampling site
AMAP/Freshwater Lake sediment station for sediment data
Fish station for biological data
Major rivers stations for water quality data
AMHY River gauging stations (total number of 261).
Baltic Monitoring Programme A sampling site has been defined as separate site if the distance of the points is >1.5 nautical mile (1 nautical mile = 1852 metres).. Several countries visit the same sampling sites. These sites are:
  • harmful substances in biota sampling stations (50);
  • other sampling stations (718); mainly hydrography, some also primary production, chlorophyll a, phytoplankton, zooplankton and zoobenthos.
Bucharest/85 Sampling area for water quality data. All sampling sites are investigated by both bordering countries. Within the Bucharest Declaration 11 sampling sites in all are investigated. All the samplings are taken from the left and right banks and from the middle of the river, except in four areas: three of them from the middle only (kms. 2203,8; 1806,4; 1433,0), and one in the left and right banks (km. 1873,0)
CORINE/WATER Gauging stations for flow data.
Thermo-pluviometric stations for climatic data.
Measuring stations for quality of surface water data.
EC Bathing Waters Directive Designated freshwater and coastal sampling stations (the registered number of river sites also include lake sites for empty lake site boxes).
EC Freshwater Fish Directive Sampling or measuring station.
EC Shellfish Waters Directive Sampling or measuring station
EUROSTAT Lakes Lake sampling station
EUROSTAT Rivers River sampling station
Exchange of Information Directive Sampling or measuring stations
FRIEND River gauging stations (total number of 4584)
GRDC/WMO Gauging stations.
HELCOM/PLCs Sub-regions in the Baltic Sea. Each sub-region reports parameters of riverine inputs from different stations. Stations are divided into hydrological stations (flow measurement) and hydrochemical stations (measures of flow and quality determinands).
HYDABA/ICPR Sampling stations.
Joint Monitoring Programme J.M.P. sampling areas: each area contains a different number of stations
LRTAP/ICP-IM Each monitoring area contains a different number of stations depending on the required monitoring level (intensive for complex monitoring or biomonitoring). Each area may contain (according to the Manual for Integrated Monitoring, phase 1993-1996): station for runoff water, station for hydrobiology of stream, station for hydrobiology of lake, lake water station and a groundwater station.
MEDPOL Coastal (bathing + coastal general) sampling stations: a total of 5844.
Estuarine sampling stations: a total of 186.
A total of 52 stations have been defined as "hot spots" due to their high concentrations of different determinands.
Monitoring Master Plan A total of 85 primary sampling stations has been defined in the ten sub-regions into which the North Sea has been divided by the NSTF. At each of these stations all mandatory determinands will be measured, as they represent the minima requirement for each NSTF monitoring station. Supplementary stations in the vicinity of the Task Force stations is encouraged.
PARCOM/Mercury Plants based on mercury cells with mercury losses into the catchment area of the Paris Convention.
  • nuclear power stations (NPS)
  • nuclear fuel reprocessing plants (NFRP)
  • nuclear fuel fabrication and enrichments plants (NFFEP)
  • research and development (R&D;) facilities;

plus 2 sampling sites proceeding from municipal sewer system in Netherlands.

PARCOM/Refineries Refineries discharging to the Paris Convention Area waters.
PARCOM/Titanium Dioxide Titanium Dioxide industries.
Regensburg/87 Sampling area for water quality data.
SIREN-IW/OECD Sampling stations. For selected rivers (rivers draining large watersheds in the selected countries) the measurement stations are at the mouth or downstream frontiers of the rivers. For selected lakes, variations in the methods of sampling must be taken into account.
The Dobris Assessment River stations


4.2 Rivers

Twenty one of the monitoring programmes included in the database are related to riverine sites. Fifteen record water quality, although eleven also examine flow. Three databases hold water quality data on European rivers and the remaining three programmes are associated with inputs to rivers.

Water quality of European rivers

Four programmes determine the water quality of the rivers in an European level: EU Exchange, GEMS/WATER, SIREN/OECD, Rivers/EUROSTAT. Five countries outside the EEA area are also involved in monitoring the water quality of European rivers.

Data for the LRTAP/ICP-Waters programme have been reported by twelve EEA countries at a total of 103 riverine sites.

Specific uses of water

Data have been included in the metadatabase relating to specific uses of rivers, namely:

  • designated bathing waters;
  • designated freshwater fisheries; and
  • industrial emissions.

Regional aspects

Some monitoring programmes are concerned with quality of a specific river or catchment area. Those based on decisions or agreements between three or more European countries have been included, for example:

  • data held in HYDABA/ICPR database for the river Rhine;
  • Bucharest/85 for the river Danube;
  • Regensburg/87 for the Danube catchment area;
  • Elbe/89 for the river Elbe; and
  • The AMAP/Freshwater programme is concerned with the protection of rivers in the Arctic countries.

Water quantity of European rivers

Three programmes assess water quantity of European rivers:

  • AMHY;
  • FRIEND; and


4.3 Lakes

A total of seven programmes determine water quality parameters in lakes. Belgium, France and Iceland have not reported any data to any of the programmes on quality of lakes.

Water quality of European lakes

The water quality of lakes (natural and artificial) in Europe is monitored by three programmes. Latvia and the Russian Federation also submit data to the LRTAP/ICP-IM programme.

Specific Water Uses and Regional Monitoring

The AMAP/Freshwater programme is concerned with the protection of lakes in the Arctic countries, 94 sites in Finland, Norway and Russian Federation are recorded in the metadatabase, although the information is not complete. Information relating to discharges monitored under PARCOM programmes are also included.

Table B.2.1 in Appendix B shows the number of sites where monitoring is carried out in lakes inside the EEA area, and Table B.2.2 shows the European countries outside the EEA area. Information is not complete for the AMAP/Freshwater programme. Information for designated bathing waters has been included with the riverine sites in Table B.1.1.


4.4 Estuaries

Estuarine water has been considered as a separate type of water body since six programmes make this differentiation in their monitoring activities although none of them directly assess the water quality of European estuaries. Two programmes assess estuarine water quality for specific water uses, as designated shellfish waters and for the Joint Monitoring Programme whilst industrial emissions are monitored under PARCOM programmes. Non-EEA countries are included in the MED-POL programme. Table B.3 in Appendix B shows the number of sites where monitoring is carried out in estuaries. Information for designated shellfish waters is not complete.


4.5 Coastal waters

Nine programmes include quality parameters from coastal and marine sites.

General Water quality of coastal and marine areas

The quality of water in coastal and marine areas is monitored by five general programmes:

  • Baltic Monitoring Programme (BMP);
  • The Pollution Load Compilations (PLCs/HELCOM) of the Baltic Sea from land-based sources;
  • Master Monitoring Plan (MMP);
  • MED-POL for the Mediterranean Sea; and
  • Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for the Northeast Atlantic. The parties to the 1994 Convention on the Protection of the North East Atlantic agreed to implement the Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme (JAMP) with the aim of preparing a Quality Status Report of the maritime area by the year 2000.

Specific Water Uses

Monitoring to assess compliance of bathing water with the EU Bathing Water Directive was undertaken at 11790 coastal sites of the EU Member States in 1994. EU Member States also assessed compliance waters in coastal sites with the Shellfish Waters Directive. Information on the monitoring of industrial discharges to coastal and marine waters in the Paris Convention Area has also been included.

Table B.4 in Appendix B shows the number of sites where monitoring is carried out by the EEA countries in coastal and marine waters. Information for shellfish waters is not complete.


4.6 Groundwater

Two programmes carry out monitoring in groundwater sites: GEMS/WATER and the groundwater chemistry sub-programme of ICP-IM. Table B.5 in Appendix B shows the number of sites where monitoring is carried out in groundwater.lijn.gif (900 bytes)

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