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Title: Guidance on the Development of Typology and Classification Systems for Transitional and Coastal Waters
Author: Communities European
Author: Communities European
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1332, Representation ID: 440, Object ID: 2508
Abstract:
AND CONCLUSIONS ................................................ 90 7.1. 7.2. 7.3. 7.4. TYPOLOGY .................................................................................................................................. 90 REFERENCE CONDITIONS ............................................................................................................. 90 CLASSIFICATION .......................................................................................................................... 91 THE PROMOTION OF COMMUNICATION ......................................................................................... 92 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................ 93 ANNEX A a KEY ACTIVITIES AND THE WORKING GROUPS OF THE COMMON IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY ...................................................... 96 ANNEX B a MEMBERS OF THE COAST WORKING GROUP ......................... 98 ANNEX C a LIST OF REFERENCE CONDITIONS STUDIES ......................... 103 ANNEX D - GLOSSARY ........................................................................................... 104 vi WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Introduction - A Guidance Document: What For? This document aims to guide experts and stakeholders in the implementation of the Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (the Water Framework Directive a athe Directivea). It focuses on the key requirements for implementation of the Directive in relation to coastal and transitional waters. TO WHOM IS THIS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT ADDRESSED? If this is your task, we believe the Guidance will help you in doing the job, if you or your team are: Developing typology, producing descriptions of reference conditions or developing classification schemes for coastal and transitional waters; Reporting the status of coastal and transitional waters to the European Union as required by the Directive; Using the results of the classification of coastal and transitional waters to develop policy; Implementing related parts of the Directive such as the Intercalibration or Pilot River Basin Studies exercises. Look out! The methodology from this Guidance Document can be adapted to regional and national circumstances. The Guidance Document proposes a European approach. Because of the diversity of coastal and transitional waters across Europe the document has been kept as general as possible whilst still trying to provide a practical level of guidance. 1 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems WHAT CAN YOU FIND IN THIS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT? The Common Understanding of Terms 2.1. What are transitional and coastal waters? 2.2. How should surface water bodies be defined within transitional and coastal waters? 2.3. What methods may be used to define transitional waters? 2.4. How should coastal water bodies be assigned to a River Basin District? 2.5. How does the Directive deal with territorial waters? 2.6. Are marine lagoons described as transitional or coastal waters? 2.7. How does the Directive deal with wetlands associated with transitional and coastal waters? Typology 3.1. What is the purpose of typology? 3.2. How should typing coastal and transitional waters be carried out? 3.3. How was the typology Guidance developed? 3.4. Which factors should be used for typing coastal and transitional waters? 3.5. How should these factors be used? Reference Conditions 4.1. What are reference conditions? 4.2. How do reference conditions deal with the range of natural variation? 4.3. How do reference conditions relate to high status and the EQR? 4.4. What are the biological quality elements that require a description of reference conditions? 4.5. What methods are available for defining reference conditions? 4.6. How should a reference network of high status sites be selected? 4.6. Can quality elements with high natural variability be excluded? 4.6.1. Can water bodies with non-indigenous species or with fishing activities be at high status? 4.7. How often should reference conditions be updated? 4.8. Are any examples of reference conditions available? Classification 5.1. Which quality elements should be used to determine ecological status? 5.2. How does the classification of ecological status relate to the ecological quality ratio? 5.3. Which basic principles should be incorporated into classification schemes and tools? 5.4. How can the uncertainty of misclassification be reduced? 5.5. What are the biological quality elements that must be included in classification? 5.6. Which hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality elements should be included in classification? 5.7. Are there any existing classification schemes and tools that could be used for the purposes of the WFD? 2 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Look out! What you will not find in this Guidance Document: a a a a a Guidance for coastal and transitional waters that are designated as Heavily Modified water bodies; A definitive typology for coastal and transitional waters; A set of reference conditions; A definitive classification tool or scheme; Guidance relating to lakes, rivers (WG 2.3) groundwaters and heavily modified water bodies (WG 2.2). Historically there has been only limited classification in the transitional and coastal waters of Europe. Existing classification tools have relied heavily on expert judgement. Therefore this Guidance Document makes suggestions of schemes, tools and best practice which will have to be tested and developed over the next few years. 3 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Section 1 a Introduction a Implementing the Directive. This Section introduces you to the overall context for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and informs you of the initiatives that led to the production of this Guidance Document. 1.1. DECEMBER 2000: A MILESTONE FOR WATER POLICY A long negotiation process December 22, 2000, will remain a milestone in the history of water policies in Europe: on that date, the WFD (or the Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy) was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and thereby entered into force! This Directive is the result of a process of more than five years of discussions and negotiations between a wide range of experts, stakeholders and policy makers. This process has stressed the widespread agreement on key principles of modern water management that form today the foundation of the WFD. 1.2. THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE: NEW CHALLENGES IN EU WATER POLICY What is the purpose of the Directive? The Directive establishes a framework for the protection of all waters (including inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater) which: Prevents further deterioration of, protects and enhances the status of water resources; Promotes sustainable water use based on long-term protection of water resources; Aims at enhancement, protection and improvement of the aquatic environment through specific measures for the progressive reduction of discharges, emissions and losses of priority substances and the cessation or phasing-out of discharges, emissions and losses of the priority hazardous substances; Ensures the progressive reduction of pollution of groundwater and prevents its further pollution; Contributes to mitigating the effects of floods and droughts. 4 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems aand what is the key objective? Overall, the Directive aims at achieving good water status for all waters by 2015. 1.3. WHAT ARE THE KEY ACTIONS THAT MEMBER STATES NEED TO TAKE? To identify the individual river basins lying within their national territory and assign them to River Basin Districts (RBDs) and identify competent authorities by 2003 (Article 3, Article 24); To characterise river basin districts in terms of pressures, impacts and economics of water uses, including a register of protected areas lying within the river basin district, by 2004 (Article 5, Article 6, Annex II, Annex III); To carry out, jointly and together with the European Commission, the intercalibration of the ecological status classification systems by 2006 (Article 2 (22), Annex V); To make operational the monitoring networks by 2006 (Article 8); Based on sound monitoring and the analysis of the characteristics of the river basin, to identify by 2009 a programme of measures for achieving cost-effectively the environmental objectives of the WFD (Article 11, Annex III); To produce and publish River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) for each RBD including the designation of heavily modified water bodies, by 2009 (Article 13, Article 4.3); To implement water pricing policies that enhance the sustainability of water resources by 2010 (Article 9); To make the measures of the programme operational by 2012 (Article 11); To implement the programmes of measures and achieve the environmental objectives by 2015 (Article 4). 5 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Table 1.1. Timetable of Implementation of the Water Framework Directive. Year Requirements 2000 Directive Adopted 2003 Transpose into National law Identify River Basin Districts and Competent Authorities Identify draft register of intercalibration sites 2004 Characterisation of water bodies, including Heavily Modified water bodies Review pressures and impacts and identify sites at risk of not meeting the environmental objective of agood statusa Establish register of Protected Areas Undertake economic analysis of water use Final register of intercalibration sites 2006 Comprehensive monitoring programmes operational 2007 Repeal some Directives 2008 Publish Draft River Basin Management Plans which will include a first draft of the classification of water bodies 2009 River Basin Management Plans produced to include final classification of the ecological status of water bodies Programme of measures for each RBD 2010 Water pricing policies contribute to environmental objectives 2013 Repeal some Directives 2015 aGooda Status to be achieved Look Out! Member States may not always reach good water status for all water bodies of a river basin district by 2015, for reasons of technical feasibility, disproportionate costs or natural conditions. Under such circumstances that will be specifically explained in the RBMPs, the WFD offers the opportunity to Member States to engage in two further six- year cycles of planning and implementation of measures. 6 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 1.4. CHANGING THE MANAGEMENT PROCESS a INFORMATION, CONSULTATION AND PARTICIPATION Article 14 of the Directive specifies that Member States shall encourage the active involvement of all interested parties in the implementation of the Directive and development of river basin management plans. Also, Member States will inform and consult the public, including users, in particular for: The timetable and work programme for the production of river basin management plans and the role of consultation at the latest by 2006; The overview of the significant water management issues in the river basin at the latest by 2007; The draft river basin management plan, at the latest by 2008. 1.5. INTEGRATION: A KEY CONCEPT UNDERLYING THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE The concept central to the WFD is integration which is seen as key to the management of water protection within the river basin district: Integration of environmental objectives, combining quality, ecological and quantity objectives for protecting highly valuable aquatic ecosystems and ensuring a general good status of other waters; Integration of all water resources, combining fresh surface water and groundwater bodies, wetlands, coastal water resources at the river basin scale; Integration of all water uses, functions and values into a common policy framework, i.e. investigating water for the environment, water for health and human consumption, water for economic sectors, transport, leisure, water as a social good; Integration of disciplines, analyses and expertise, combining hydrology, hydraulics, ecology, chemistry, soil sciences, technology engineering and economics to assess current pressures and impacts on water resources and identify measures for achieving the environmental objectives of the Directive in the most cost-effective manner; Integration of water legislation into a common and coherent framework. The requirements of some old water legislation (e.g. the Freshwater Fish Directive) have been reformulated in the WFD to meet modern ecological thinking. After a transitional period, these old Directives will be repealed. Other pieces of legislation (e.g. the Nitrates Directive and the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive) must be co-ordinated in river basin management plans where they form the basis of the programmes of measures; Integration of all significant management and ecological aspects relevant to sustainable river basin planning including those which are beyond the scope of the Water Framework Directive such as flood protection and prevention; 7 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Integration of a wide range of measures, including pricing and economic and financial instruments, in a common management approach for achieving the environmental objectives of the Directive. Programmes of measures are defined in River Basin Management Plans developed for each river basin district; Integration of stakeholders and the civil society in decision making, by promoting transparency and information to the public, and by offering an unique opportunity for involving stakeholders in the development of river basin management plans; Integration of different decision-making levels that influence water resources and water status, whether local, regional or national, for effective management of all waters; Integration of water management from different Member States, for river basins shared by several countries, existing and/or future Member States of the European Union. Look out! A number of international marine conventions deal with the protection of large maritime areas such as the North East Atlantic (OSPAR), the Baltic (HELCOM) and the Mediterranean (BARCOM). These Conventions deal with many marine environmental protection issues including the issue of transboundary pollution. Throughout the drafting of this Guidance the COAST working group has tried to ensure good linkages with these Conventions and to build on the sound science that has already been developed. It is the intention to continue to improve the linkages between the Marine Conventions and the EU under the imminent EU Marine Strategy. 1.6. WHAT IS BEING DONE TO SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION? Activities to support the implementation of the WFD are under way in both Member States and in countries candidate for accession to the European Union. Examples of activities include consultation of the public, development of national Guidance, pilots for testing specific elements of the Directive or the overall planning process, discussions on the institutional framework or launching of research programmes dedicated to the WFD. May 2001 a Sweden: Member States, Norway and the European Commission agreed a Common Implementation Strategy The main objective of this strategy is to provide support to the implementation of the WFD by developing a coherent and common understanding and guidance on key elements of this Directive. Key principles in this common strategy include sharing information and experiences, developing common methodologies and approaches, involving experts from candidate countries and involving stakeholders from the water community. 8 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems In the context of this common implementation strategy, a series of working groups and joint activities has been launched to develop and test non-legally binding Guidance (see Annex A of this Guidance Document). A strategic co-ordination group oversees these working groups and reports directly to the water directors of the European Union and Commission that play the role of overall decision body for the Common Implementation Strategy. 1.7. THE COAST WORKING GROUP (CIS WG 2.4) The COAST working group was created specifically to deal with the issues relating to transitional and coastal waters and to produce a non-legally binding document of practical advice for implementing the WFD, specifically Annexes II and V, in relation to these waters. The members of the working group included technical experts and regulators from European Union Member States, Norway and some Accession States as well as experts representing NGOs and Stakeholders organisations associated with water and environmental policy. Look out! You can contact the experts involved in the COAST activities A complete list of COAST members with full contact details is in Annex B of this Guidance Document. If you need input into your own activities, please contact a member from COAST in your country. If you want more information on specific pilot studies (Annex C), or classification tools and schemes and tools presented in the toolbox (Section 6) you may directly contact those people from the relevant Member State. To ensure adequate input and feedback from a wide audience during the drafting of this document, the COAST group organised a series of working group meetings and workshops as well as widely circulating draft documents for comments. Development of this Guidance Document was an interactive process. Between September 2001 and September 2002 a large number of experts and stakeholders have been involved in the development of this Guidance. The process has included the following activities: Regular meetings of the 40 or more experts and stakeholder members of COAST; A series of meetings of the Steering Group (representatives from UK (lead), France, Germany, Sweden and EEA). These meetings guided the project and agreed on the final structure and format; Organisation of three eco-region workshops (Baltic, Mediterranean and North-East Atlantic) on typology; The collation of draft coastal and transitional types from Member States. The purpose of this exercise was four-fold: a to determine the approximate number of coastal and transitional types; a to prevent Member States assigning different names to the same types and vice versa; 9 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems a to identify where Member States have the same type and may therefore be able to share reference conditions; a to assist in the identification of suitable types for intercalibration. A series of reference condition pilot studies were carried out by several Member States and the lessons learnt from these have contributed to the Guidance Document; Invitation of experts from other working groups to attend COAST meetings; Experts from COAST attending the meetings of other working groups; Regular interactions with experts from other working groups of the Common Implementation Strategy: a WG 2.1 (Assessment of pressures and impacts); a WG 2.2 (Designation of heavily modified water bodies); a WG 2.3 (Reference conditions and classification for freshwater); a WG 2.5 (Intercalibration); a WG 2.7 (Monitoring). The links established with these working groups have resolved some of the issues encountered by COAST and also highlighted areas that needed consideration and discussion (Figure 1); The working group leader, Claire Vincent, attended regular meetings of the Strategic Co-ordination Group and Working Group Leaders in Brussels throughout the development of the Guidance. 10 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems COMMISSION STRATEGIC CO-ORDINATION GROUP WG 4.1 Pilot River Basins ECOSTAT CLUSTER WG WG 2.3 WG 2.5 IC REFCOND WG 2.4 COAST WG 2.1 IMPRESS WG 2.2 HMWB Figure 1.1. CHARM Project WG 2.7 Monitoring Links between COAST, the Commission, other CIS working groups and European funded projects. 11 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Section 2 a The Common Understanding of Terms related to Transitional and Coastal Waters. This Section provides guidance on the language used in the Directive for transitional and coastal waters. 2.1. 2.1.1. DEFINITIONS OF TRANSITIONAL AND COASTAL WATERS The Directive defines transitional waters as: Article 2 (6) aaTransitional watersa are bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.a 2.1.2. Further guidance is given in Section 2.3 on defining transitional waters. 2.1.3. The Directive defines coastal waters as: Article 2 (7) aaCoastal watera means surface water on the landward side of a line, every point of which is at a distance of one nautical mile on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured, extending where appropriate up to the outer limit of transitional waters.a 2.1.4. The ecological status of coastal waters should be classified from the landward extent of either the coastal or transitional waters out to one nautical mile from the baseline. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) the baseline is measured as the low-water line except along the mouths of estuaries and heads of bays where it cuts across open water. Along highly indented coastlines, bays, mouths of estuaries or coastlines with islands, the baseline can be drawn as a straight line. Each Member State has a legislative baseline associated with this definition. 2.1.5. The Directive gives no indication of the landward extent of either transitional or coastal waters. One of the hydromorphological quality elements for both transitional and coastal waters is the structure of the intertidal zone. Since it is likely that some of the quality elements may be monitored within the intertidal area, it is recommended that transitional and coastal water bodies include the intertidal area from the highest to the lowest astronomical tide. 12 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.2. DEFINING SURFACE WATER BODIES WITHIN TRANSITIONAL AND COASTAL WATERS Annex II 1.1 aMember States shall identify the location and boundaries of bodies of surface water and shall carry out an initial characterisation of all such bodiesa. 2.2.1. The Directive requires surface waters within the River Basin District to be split into water bodies (Figure 2.1). Water bodies represent the classification and management unit of the Directive. A range of factors will determine the identification of water bodies. Some of these will be determined by the requirements of the Directive and others by practical water management considerations. Define River Basin District Divide surface waters into one of six surface water categories (i.e. rivers, lakes, transitional waters, coastal waters, artificial and heavily modified water bodies) Iterative verification and refinement using information from Annex II 1.5 risk assessments and Article 8 monitoring programme Sub-divide surface water categories into types, using factors listed in Annex II, and assign surface waters to one type Sub-divide a water body of one type into smaller water bodies according to pressures and resulting impacts Figure 2.1. [Article 3(1)] [Annex II 1.1(i)] [Annex II 1.1(i)] [Purpose: to ensure water bodies can be used to provide an accurate description of the status of surface waters] Summary of suggested hierarchical approach to the identification of surface water bodies. 13 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.2.2. This paper provides guidance on defining water bodies specific to coastal and transitional waters. A separate horizontal Guidance Document is available which specifically gives guidance on the term awater bodya and the identification of water bodies (WFD CIS Guidance Document No 2.). Surface Water Categories Annex II 1.1(i) aThe surface water bodies within the river basin district shall be identified as falling within either one of the following surface water categories a rivers, lakes, transitional waters or coastal waters a or as artificial surface water bodies or heavily modified surface water bodies.a 2.2.3. The first stage in describing surface water bodies is to assign all surface waters to a surface water category a rivers, lakes, transitional waters or coastal waters a or to artificial surface water bodies or heavily modified surface water bodies (Figure 2.2). Figure 2.2. Surface Water Categories. 14 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Surface Water Types Annex II 1.1(ii) aFor each surface water category, the relevant surface water bodies within the river basin district shall be differentiated according to type. These types are those defined using either asystem Aa or asystem Ba.a 2.2.4. The Directive recognises that the ecological character of surface waters will vary according to their different physical regimes. For example, a marine scientist expects to find different biological communities on an exposed Atlantic rocky shore compared to a fjord, a bay in the Baltic or a Mediterranean coastal lagoon. Examples of surface water types are shown in Figure 2.3. The purpose of assigning water bodies to a physical type is to ensure that valid comparisons of its ecological status can be made. For each type reference conditions must also be described, as these form the aanchora for classification of the water bodies status or quality. Guidance on how to type surface water bodies is given in Section 3. Figure 2.3. Types of surface water. 15 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Surface Water Bodies Article 2(10) "Body of surface water" means a discrete and significant element of surface water such as a lake, a reservoir, a stream, river or canal, part of a stream, river or canal, a transitional water or a stretch of coastal water. 2.2.5. The water body is the management unit of the Directive. 2.2.6. Water bodies may be identified for all surface waters (natural, heavily modified and artificial waters). This step is of major importance for the implementation process because water bodies represent the units that will be used for reporting and assessing compliance with the Directiveas principal environmental objectives. 2.2.7. To assign a single classification and effective environmental objectives to a water body it may be necessary to divide an area which is of one type further into two or more separate water bodies (Figure 2.4.). Water bodies may not spread over two types because reference conditions and hence environmental objectives are type specific. Figure 2.4. Surface water bodies. The colours used relate to those stated in Annex V 1.4.2 for reporting. 16 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.2.8. According to the definition in the Directive, water bodies must be adiscrete and significanta. This means that they must not be arbitrary sub-divisions of river basin districts, that they must not overlap with each other, nor be composed of elements of surface water that are not contiguous. 2.2.9. The Directive specifies that rivers and coastal waters may be sub-divided. It is assumed that transitional waters may also be sub-divided as long as the resulting water bodies are discrete and significant (Figure 2.5). In the case of coastal waters, stretches of open coast are often continuous (unless divided by transitional waters); here subdivisions may follow significant changes in substratum, topographies or aspect. Surface water categories Surface water bodies Lakes Rivers, streams, canals Surface waters Part of a lake Part of a river, stream, canal Transitional waters Part of a transitional water Coastal waters Stretch of coastal water Artificial water bodies Heavily modified water bodies Figure 2.5. The splitting of surface water categories into surface water bodies. 2.2.10. The need to keep separate two or more contiguous water bodies of the same type depends upon the pressures and resulting impacts. For example, a discharge may cause organic enrichment in one water body but not in the other. Such an area of one type could therefore be divided into two separate water bodies with different classifications. If there were no impact from the discharge it would not be necessary to divide the area into two water bodies as it would have the same classification and should be managed as one entity. 17 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Look out! The Directive only requires sub-divisions of surface water that are necessary for the clear, consistent and effective application of its objectives. Sub-divisions of coastal and transitional waters into smaller and smaller water bodies that do not support this purpose should be avoided. 2.2.11. Every six years from 2013, Member States must review the characterisation of water bodies, including the type-specific reference conditions, so as to reflect greater understanding and knowledge of the systems and natural variability including climate change. In this review, water bodies whose status changes may be merged with adjacent water bodies of the same status and the same type. Article 5(2) aThe analyses and reviews mentioned undera [Article 5] aparagraph 1 shall be reviewed, and if necessary updated at the latest 13 years after the date of entry into force of this Directive and every six years thereafter.a 2.3. 2.3.1. DEFINING TRANSITIONAL WATERS The Directive defines transitional waters as: Article 2 (6) aaTransitional watersa are bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.a 2.3.2. When defining transitional waters for the purposes of the WFD, it is clear that the setting of boundaries between transitional waters, freshwaters and coastal waters must be ecologically relevant. 2.3.3. Transitional waters are: (1) "...in the vicinity of a river mouth" meaning close to the end of a river where it mixes with coastal waters; (2)"...partly saline in charactera meaning that the salinity is generally lower than in the adjacent coastal water; (3)"...substantially influenced by freshwater flow" meaning that there is a change to salinity or flow. 2.3.4. If riverine dynamics occur in a plume outside the coastline because of high and strong freshwater discharge, the transitional water may extend into the sea area (allowed in definition 1). 2.3.5. For the purposes of the Directive, the main difference between transitional and coastal waters is the inclusion of the abundance and composition of fish fauna in 18 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems the list of biological quality elements for the classification assessment of transitional waters. 2.3.6. Transitional waters are usually characterised by their morphological and chemical features in relation to the size and nature of the inflowing rivers. Many different methods might be used to define them but the method should be relevant ecologically. This will ensure reliable derivation of type-specific biological reference conditions. 2.3.7. In certain areas of the Baltic Sea, such as the Bothnian Bay, the salinity of coastal water is similar to that of fresh water. As a result riverine fresh water life may extend into the adjacent coastal water. However, because of the different physical characteristics (flow dynamics) of a river and coastal water (Article 2(6)), the same biological community falls into two different categories of surface waters (river - coastal) and hence must be separated into two different water bodies, as required by the Directive. In such cases the delimitation of a transitional water might be superfluous. Defining the seaward boundary of transitional waters 2.3.8. To assist Member States in defining the seaward boundary of transitional waters, four methods are proposed. 1. The use of boundaries defined under other European and national legislation such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive; 2. Salinity gradient; 3. Physiographic features; 4. Modelling. 2.3.9. Member States should select the most ecologically relevant method for their own situation. The use of one or more of these approaches will allow comparisons across all Member States. The use of boundaries defined under other European and National legislation 2.3.10. Where boundaries of transitional waters were defined for the purposes of existing legislation, they may be used to define transitional waters under the WFD as long as they are consistent with the WFD categories. 2.3.11. Article 17(1) and (2) of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EC) gave Member States the task of establishing an implementation programme to include information on discharges into different types of water bodies, which might have implicated defining the outer (seaward) limit of estuaries. Each Member State used its own individual method. These boundaries are likely to have been drawn for most sizeable estuaries and could be used to define transitional waters for the purposes of the WFD. 19 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Salinity gradient 2.3.12. If salinity measurements exist, the outer boundary should be drawn where the salinity of the transitional water is usually substantially lower than the salinity of the adjacent coastal water. By definition, the transitional water must also be substantially influenced by freshwater flows. 2.3.13. For larger rivers the influence of freshwater is likely to extend into coastal waters (Figure 2.6). Figure 2.6. Examples of the plumes of the Loire and Gironde estuaries on the French Atlantic coast. The extension of the plume (salinity gradient) varies according to freshwater flow and tide conditions. Physiographic features 2.3.14. Where morphological boundaries lie close to enclosing geographic features such as headlands and islands, such features may be used to define the boundary. 20 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems This is acceptable in some cases such as bar-built estuaries (Figure 2.7) whose morphological features may also coincide with biological boundaries. Figure 2.7. Bar-built estuary showing that geomorphological and biological limits of transitional waters can coincide. Modelling 2.3.15 Models may be designed to predict the size of transitional waters. This method may be applicable where no estuary boundary has been defined for the purpose of existing legislation and where no suitable salinity data are available. Models may be used to estimate the area of water of a salinity substantially less than the salinity of the adjacent coastal water. 21 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Defining the freshwater boundary of transitional waters 2.3.16. Annex II 1.2.3. and 1.2.4 of the Directive defines freshwater as less than 0.5 salinity. 2.3.17. There are two main methods for defining the freshwater boundary of transitional waters: the fresh/salt water boundary or the tidal limit (Figure 2.8). In some large estuaries, the tidal limit can be several tens of kilometres further inland than the freshwater/salt water boundary. Salt/Fresh Limit: variable and indistinct; poor definition of position Tidal Limit: easy to define; Absolute limit of salt intrusion Either boundary can be ecologically relevant Figure 2.8. Methods for defining the freshwater boundary of transitional waters. 2.3.18. It is suggested that either the fresh /salt boundary or the tidal limit be used to define the freshwater boundary of transitional waters depending upon which method is most suitable to local circumstances. Whichever method is used, it is clear that all transitional waters must abut freshwater, leaving no section of the system unassigned to a surface water category. The Minimum Size of Transitional Waters 2.3.19. The Directive gives no indication of the minimum size of transitional waters to be identified as separate water bodies. Although catchment size may be used as a guideline for the size of identified transitional waters, it should be considered with other factors such as the size, length, volume, river, discharge and the 22 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems nature of the mixing zone. Most importantly it must meet the water body definition (Article 2.10) of being a adiscrete and significanta element of surface water. Significant could mean in terms of size or risk of failing to meet good ecological status. 2.3.20. The horizontal Guidance on water bodies (WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 2) gives no guidance on the minimum size for transitional or coastal water bodies. It does however state that Member States have the flexibility to decide whether the purposes of the Directive, which apply to all surface waters, can be achieved without the identification of every minor but discrete element of surface water as a water body. 2.4. ASSIGNING COASTAL WATERS WITHIN THE RIVER BASIN DISTRICT Article 3.1 aCoastal waters shall be identified and assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin district or districts.a 3.4.1. The free exchange of substances from river basin districts to the open sea takes place in coastal waters. Coastal waters must be assigned to a River Basin District. This may involve the splitting of stretches of coastal water that might otherwise be considered as single water bodies. 2.4.2. When assigning a stretch of coastal water to a River Basin District the objective is to ensure that coastal waters are assigned to the closest possible or the most appropriate natural management unit and to minimise any unnecessary splitting of coastal stretches. To ensure consistency in the approach, the following principles should be applied: a Where possible, existing administrative boundaries could be used. Examples are, ecoregions defined within the Directive and regions defined in the Marine Conventions; a The boundaries between two adjacent types should be used wherever possible to minimise unnecessary splitting of the coastline; a In the general case, the coastline should be split at open coast areas rather than through natural management units such as bays or inlets. However, specific situations may exist where the splitting of natural units for management purposes can not be avoided. Look out! Further details on assigning coastal stretches to River Basin Districts are given in the Guidance Document aIdentification of River Basin Districts in Member States. Overview, criteria and current state of playa produced by working group 2.9. 23 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.4.3. When managing coastal water bodies it must be recognized that water bodies in different river basin districts may interact to affect water quality in adjacent water bodies or even further away. In this case, the management plans of both river basins should acknowledge the problem and work together to resolve any issues. Where possible the coastal water body should be assigned to the River Basin District most likely to influence its quality, particularly taking into account long-shore influences of any contaminants. 2.5. TERRITORIAL WATERS Article 2. 1 aaSurface watera means inland waters, except groundwater; transitional and coastal waters, except in respect of chemical status for which it shall also include territorial waters.a 2.5.1. The definition of surface waters includes territorial waters. The Directive requires the achievement of good surface water chemical status for all surface water up to 12 nautical miles seaward from the baseline from which territorial waters are measured (i.e. territorial waters). 2.5.2. However, Member States are only required to identify water bodies in coastal waters, not in territorial waters. Article 2. 10 aaBody of surface watera means a discrete and significant element of surface water such as a lake, a reservoir, a stream, river or canal, part of a stream, river or canal, a transitional water or a stretch of coastal water.aa 2.5.3. By protecting these inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwaters, the Directive contributes to the protection of territorial and marine waters. 2.5.4. It is intended that the daughter directives that must be proposed by the Commission for substances on the Priority List by 20 November 2003 will clarify the compliance, assessment and reporting requirements relevant to the classification of good surface water chemical status. 2.5.5. One option for reporting any failures to achieve good surface water chemical status in territorial waters would be to identify territorial water bodies only where needed to delineate contiguous stretches of water in which the required environmental quality standards for good chemical status are not being met. 24 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.6. MARINE LAGOONS 2.6.1. Coastal lagoons may be either coastal waters or transitional waters, depending on whether the lagoon fits the definition of transitional waters in the Directive ain the vicinity of river mouthsa and asubstantially influenced by freshwater flowsa (Article 2(6)). 2.6.2. All surface waters are covered by the Directive. The minimum size of lagoons to be covered by the Directive is here suggested to be the same as the minimum size of lakes. Within Annex II of the Directive, the smallest size of lakes included in System A is a surface area of 0.5 to 1 km2. This must not be considered as an absolute value and Member States may wish to include lagoons smaller than 0.5 km2, particularly if they are at risk of failing to meet good status or are at high status and require a high level of protection. Further information on significant water bodies is given in the horizontal Guidance on water bodies (WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 2). 2.7. WETLANDS Look out! A horizontal Guidance paper (currently under preparation) deals with the role of wetlands in the WFD and should be referred to for more detailed discussion. Article 1 aThe purpose of this Directive is to establish a framework for the protection of inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater which: (a) prevents further deterioration and protects and enhances the status of aquatic ecosystems, and with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly dependent on aquatic ecosystems.a 2.7.1. It is clear from Article 1 of the Directive that one of the primary objectives of the WFD is to protect and enhance aquatic ecosystems including wetlands directly dependent on aquatic ecosystems. The major strength of the WFD as a management tool is that these interdependencies are recognised, in contrast to previous water pollution control or nature conservation directives. Look out! Although specific Guidance on marine wetlands is not covered within this Guidance Document, the importance of wetlands associated with coastal and transitional waters, in particular salt marshes, is recognised. 25 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems 2.7.2. Wetland ecosystems are ecologically and functionally significant elements of the water environment, with potentially an important role to play in helping to achieve sustainable river basin management. The Water Framework Directive does not set environmental objectives for wetlands. However, wetlands that are dependent on groundwater bodies, form part of a surface water body, or are Protected Areas, will benefit from WFD obligations to protect and restore the status of water. Relevant definitions are developed in CIS horizontal Guidance Documents water bodies (WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 2) and further considered in the Guidance Document on wetlands (currently under preparation). 2.7.3. Pressures on wetlands (for example physical modification or pollution) can result in impacts on the ecological status of water bodies. Measures to manage such pressures may therefore need to be considered as part of river basin management plans, where they are necessary to meet the environmental objectives of the Directive. 2.7.4. Wetland creation and enhancement can in appropriate circumstances offer sustainable, cost-effective and socially acceptable mechanisms for helping to achieve the environmental objectives of the Directive. In particular, wetlands can help to abate pollution impacts, contribute to mitigating the effects of droughts and floods, help to achieve sustainable coastal management and to promote groundwater recharge. The relevance of wetlands within programmes of measures is examined further in a separate horizontal Guidance paper on wetlands (currently under preparation). 26 WFD CIS Guidance Document No. 5 Transitional and Coastal Watersa Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems Section 3 a Guidance for Typology in Transitional and Coastal Waters. This Section interprets the requirements of the WFD to define typology as one of the supporting factors in determining ecological status. 3.1.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Water framework directive; Water quality; Classification; Wfd; Guidance; Common implementation strategy; Transitional and coastal waters; Member states; Water bodies; Biological analysis
Extent: 116
Permalink: http://www.environmentdata.org/archive/ealit:4688
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