Water quality reporting (WFD, MSFD, BWD)

A good water quality is the base of a healthy ecosystem with rich biodiversity. Aquatic ecosystems also provide essential services for drinking water, irrigation, recreation, aquaculture and fisheries. The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) recognizes this and requires member states to monitor and, if necessary, improve water quality. Also the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Bathing Water Directive require frequent monitoring.

Although the spatial component is key to gain insight in the processes in water, regular sample-based monitoring only provides point data. Several parameters that are used to determine the ecological status (e.g. phytoplankton biomass, turbidity) can be measured by Earth Observation, increasing the spatial representativeness of the measurements as well as in some cases the measurement frequency. Earth Observation (EO) will also help to understand the system, and can help to identify sources, which will help to take the most effective measure. EU consortia EOMORES, CoastObs and a long list of international experts promote the use of Earth Observation to support the monitoring for the WFD in the White Paper “Satellite-based water quality monitoring, reporting and management for the Water Framework Directive” https://zenodo.org/record/3903776#.X3Leeu1S-XI

An image of the Curonian Lagoon by Klaipeda University, EOMORES, demonstrates how the mapping for the WFD based on Earth observation works.

Water Insight provides operational monitoring services for WFD, MSFD and BWD. We provide maps, histograms, time series or spatial-temporal aggregated status classes for your area.

An example of an histogram of Chl-a values based on a satellite image. Clearly, there is not one single ecological status for this area.