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Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany) According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement
Department of Water, Soil, Recyclables, Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, P.O. Box 540137, Dresden D-01311, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2012; in revised form: 23 September 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 9 November 2012
Abstract: The Federal State of Saxony (Germany) transposed the EU Water Framework Directive into state law, identifying 617 surface water bodies (rivers and streams) for implementation of the water framework directive (WFD). Their ecological status was classified by biological quality elements (macrophytes and phytobenthos, benthic invertebrates and fish, and in large rivers, phytoplankton) and specific synthetic and non-synthetic pollutants. Hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality elements were used to identify significant anthropogenic pressures, which surface water bodies are susceptible to, and to assess the effect of these pressures on the status of surface water bodies. In 2009, the data for classification of the ecological status and the main pressures and impacts on water bodies were published in the river basin management plans (RBMP) of the Elbe and Oder rivers. To that date, only 23 (4%) streams achieved an ecological status of “good”, while the rest failed to achieve the environmental objective. The two main reasons for the failure were significant alterations to the stream morphology (81% of all streams) and nutrient enrichment (62%) caused by point (industrial and municipal waste water treatment plants) and non-point (surface run-off from arable fields, discharges from urban drainages and decentralized waste water treatment plants) sources. It was anticipated that a further 55 streams would achieve the environmental objective by 2015, but the remaining 539 need extended deadlines.
Keywords: ecological status; impact assessment; anthropogenic pressures; streams; environmental objectives; specific synthetic pollutants; non-specific pollutants
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Spänhoff, B.; Dimmer, R.; Friese, H.; Harnapp, S.; Herbst, F.; Jenemann, K.; Mickel, A.; Rohde, S.; Schönherr, M.; Ziegler, K.; Kuhn, K.; Müller, U. Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany) According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement. Water 2012, 4, 887-904.
Spänhoff B, Dimmer R, Friese H, Harnapp S, Herbst F, Jenemann K, Mickel A, Rohde S, Schönherr M, Ziegler K, Kuhn K, Müller U. Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany) According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement. Water. 2012; 4(4):887-904.
Spänhoff, Bernd; Dimmer, Roland; Friese, Holm; Harnapp, Steve; Herbst, Frank; Jenemann, Kerstin; Mickel, Antje; Rohde, Sylvia; Schönherr, Michaela; Ziegler, Katrin; Kuhn, Karin; Müller, Uwe. 2012. "Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany) According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement." Water 4, no. 4: 887-904.