Project

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Integrated river water quality management (iWaQa)

Applicant Stamm Christian
Number 125866
Funding scheme NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management
Research institution Eawag
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.03.2010 - 31.08.2013
Approved amount 625'507.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Agricultural Engineering

Keywords (6)

pollutants; sediments; decision support; nutrients; ecotoxicology; ecological effects

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Integriertes Management der Wasserqualität von Fliessgewässern Klimaerwärmung und Landnutzung beeinflussen die Qualität der Fliessgewässer in der Schweiz. Welche Einflüsse wirken sich negativ auf die Wasserqualität aus? Was muss getan werden, um eine genügend gute Wasserqualität zu erhalten?
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Sowohl die Klimaerwärmung als auch die Art der Landnutzung werden in den kommenden Jahrzehnten die Gewässerqualität unserer Fliessgewässer massgeblich beeinflussen. Durch die Klimaerwärmung werden die Temperaturen in den Flüssen ansteigen, und die Wasserführung wird sich verändern. Nutzungen wie Landwirtschaft, Industrie oder der Verkehr tragen Schadstoffe in die Flüsse ein. Nährstoffe, Schadstoffe und Feinsedimente werden in den Flüssen zu- oder abnehmen. Diese Veränderungen beeinflussen Gewässerorganismen und -ökosysteme. Allerdings weiss man darüber bis heute nur wenig.

Ziel
Das Projekt erarbeitet Entscheidungshilfen, die es ermöglichen, negative Auswirkungen auf den ökologischen Zustand der Fliessgewässer abzuschätzen und zu minimieren. Dazu werden verschiedene Massnahmen zur Bewirtschaftung der Flüsse und der umgebenden Landschaft untersucht. Drei Arten von Information werden kombiniert: Erstens werden Handlungsmöglichkeiten in Zusammenarbeit mit Vertretern von Behörden und Verbänden aus den Gebieten der Mönchaltdorfer Aa und der Gürbe zusammengestellt. Zweitens werden verschiedene Zustände der Gewässer bewertet. Anhand dieser Ergebnisse kann der Einfluss von Bewirtschaftungsmassnahmen abgeschätzt werden. Dies geschieht ebenfalls gemeinsam mit den verschiedenen Akteuren. Drittens wird ein Modell entwickelt, das die Auswirkung von Massnahmen auf die Gewässerqualität und auf die Wasserpflanzen und -tiere beschreibt. Da dieses Modell mehrere Jahrzehnte in die Zukunft blicken soll, wird es mit erheblichen Unsicherheiten behaftet sein. Das Projekt wird deshalb beleuchten, wie solche Unsicherheiten bei Entscheidungen über Massnahmen bei der Bewirtschaftung berücksichtigt werden können.

Bedeutung
Mit einem ganzheitlichen Ansatz wird die Wasserqualität in allen wichtigen Aspekten untersucht. Damit zeigt das Projekt auf, mit welchen Risiken in Zukunft gerechnet werden muss. Die Ergebnisse werden helfen, die richtigen Prioritäten bei der Wahl von Massnahmen zum Schutz der Wasserqualität in Flüssen zu setzen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.03.2013

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Gestion intégrée de la qualité de l’eau de rivière Le réchauffement climatique et l’utilisation des sols influencent la qualité des rivières en Suisse. Quelles en sont les répercussions négatives sur la qualité de l’eau? Que faut-il entreprendre, afin de maintenir une bonne qualité de l’eau?
Lay summary

Contexte
Tant le réchauffement climatique que la manière dont seront utilisés les sols dans les décennies à venir vont influencer de manière déterminante la qualité de l’eau de nos rivières. En raison du réchauffement climatique, la température des cours d’eau va augmenter et leur débit va changer. L’agriculture, l’industrie ou encore la circulation routière rejettent des polluants dans les rivières. Les quantités de substances nutritives, de polluants et de sédiments fins dans les cours d’eau vont augmenter ou diminuer. Ces changements influencent les organismes et les écosystèmes des rivières. Ces phénomènes ont été peu étudiés jusqu’ici.

But
Ce projet élabore des aides à la décision qui permettent d’évaluer et de réduire les effets négatifs sur l’écologie des cours d’eau. Dans ce but, diverses mesures liées à l’exploitation des rivières et de leurs alentours seront examinées. Trois sortes d’informations seront combinées. Premièrement, les moyens d’action seront rassemblés en collaboration avec des représentants des autorités et des associations de la région de la Mönchaltdorfer Aa et de la Gürbe. Deuxièmement, divers états des cours d’eau  seront déterminés. Sur la base de ces résultats, l’influence des mesures d’exploitation pourra être évaluée. Ceci se fera également en collaboration avec les divers acteurs. Troisièmement, un modèle décrivant les répercussions des mesures sur la qualité de l’eau et sur les plantes et les animaux aquatiques sera développé. Ce modèle servira de pronostic de l’état des cours d’eau dans plusieurs décennies. Il comportera de ce fait des incertitudes considérables. Ce projet décrira donc comment tenir compte de telles incertitudes lors de prises de décisions concernant l’exploitation.

Portée
Tous les aspects importants de la qualité de l’eau seront examinés au moyen d’une approche globale. De cette manière, le projet décrira les risques auxquels il faudra s’attendre à l’avenir. Les résultats aideront à établir les priorités lors du choix de mesures de protection de la qualité de l’eau des rivières.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.03.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Integrated river water quality management Global warming and land use influence the quality of rivers in Switzerland. Which influences have a negative effect on water quality? What must be undertaken to maintain good water quality?
Lay summary
Background
Global warming as well as the way in which land is used will have a significant influence on the quality of our watercourses in the coming decades. Due to global warming, the temperature in rivers will increase and the rate of flow will change. Agricultural, industrial or traffic uses add pollutants to the rivers. Nutrients, pollutants and fine sediments will increase or decrease in rivers. These changes affect water organisms and ecosystems, although, at this point in time, very little is known about these influences.

Objectives and methods
This project develops decision-making support that will make possible the assessment and minimization of negative effects on the ecological state of watercourses. For this purpose, various measures linked to the management of rivers and their surroundings will be examined. Three types of information will be combined: firstly, means of action will be compiled in collaboration with representatives of the authorities and associations from the area of the Mönchaltdorfer Aa and the Gürbe. Secondly, the various conditions of watercourses will be evaluated. Using these results, the influence of the management measures can be assessed. This will also be done jointly with the various stakeholders. Thirdly, a model will be developed to describe the effect of measures on water quality and aquatic plants and animals. This model will look several decades into the future and will therefore be subject to significant uncertainties. Therefore, the project will show how such uncertainties can be taken into account when making decisions concerning management measures.

Significance
Using a comprehensive approach, all the important aspects of water quality will be examined. The project will show which risks may be of major concern in the future. The results will help to set the correct priorities when choosing measures for the protection of water quality in rivers.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.03.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Multi-criteria decision analysis for integrated water quality assessment and management support
Schuwirth Nele, Honti Mark, Logar Ivana, Stamm Christian (2018), Multi-criteria decision analysis for integrated water quality assessment and management support, in Water Research X, 1, 100010-100010.
Can integrative catchment management mitigate future water
Honti Mark, Schuwirth Nele, Rieckermann Jörg, Stamm Christian (2017), Can integrative catchment management mitigate future water, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, 1593-1609.
How stressor specific are trait-based ecological indices for ecosystem management?
Schuwirth Nele, Kattwinkel Mira, Stamm Christian (2015), How stressor specific are trait-based ecological indices for ecosystem management?, in Science of the Total Environment, 505, 565-572.
The conceptual foundation of environmental decision support
Reichert Peter, Langhans Simone D., Lienert Judit, Schuwirth Nele (2015), The conceptual foundation of environmental decision support, in Journal of Environmental Management, 154, 316-332.
Spatial relationships between land-use, habitat, water quality and lotic macroinvertebrates in two Swiss catchments
Robinson C.T., Schuwirth N., Baumgartner S., Stamm C. (2014), Spatial relationships between land-use, habitat, water quality and lotic macroinvertebrates in two Swiss catchments, in Aquat. Sci., 1.
The importance of hydrological uncertainty assessment methods in climate change impact studies
Honti Mark, Scheidegger Andreas, Stamm Christian (2014), The importance of hydrological uncertainty assessment methods in climate change impact studies, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18, 3301-3317.
Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams
Schuwirth Nele, Reichert Peter (2013), Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams, in Ecology, 94(2), 368-379.
Constructing, evaluating and visualizing value and utility functions for decision support
Reichert Peter, Schuwirth Nele, Langhans Simone (2013), Constructing, evaluating and visualizing value and utility functions for decision support, in Environmental Modelling & Software, 46, 283-291.
Integrated uncertainty assessment of discharge predictions with a statistical error model
Honti Mark, Stamm Christian, Reichert Peter (2013), Integrated uncertainty assessment of discharge predictions with a statistical error model, in Water Resources Research, 49, 4866-4884.
Das Vorkommen von Lebewesen vorhersagen
Schuwirth Nele, Reichert Peter (2012), Das Vorkommen von Lebewesen vorhersagen, in Eawag News, 72, 14-17.
Incorporation of uncertainty in decision support to improve water quality
Schuwirth Nele, Stamm Christian, Reichert Peter (2012), Incorporation of uncertainty in decision support to improve water quality, in 2012 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software , Leipzig, Germany.
Einbettung von Verfahren zur Fliessgewässerbewertung in ein übergeordnetes Gewässermanagementkonzept. Vorschläge am Beispiel des Modulstufenkonzepts
Langhans Simone, Reichert Peter (2011), Einbettung von Verfahren zur Fliessgewässerbewertung in ein übergeordnetes Gewässermanagementkonzept. Vorschläge am Beispiel des Modulstufenkonzepts, in Wasser Energie Luft, 103(3), 204-214.
MCWM – Ein Konzept für multikriterielle Entscheidungsunterstützung im Wassermanagement .
Reichert Peter, SchuwirthNele., Langhans Simone (2011), MCWM – Ein Konzept für multikriterielle Entscheidungsunterstützung im Wassermanagement ., in Wasser Energie Luft, 103(2), 139-148.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Eawag, Projekt Weiterentwicklung MSK Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
ETHZ, P. Burlando, S. Fatichi Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Eawag, Projekt Pestizidbelastung Aaretal Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Eawag, Projekt "Priorisierung von Flussrevitalisierungprojekten-Enscheidungsunterstützung" Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Warsaw, Poland / Eawag SCIEX SEDTRACE Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Oekotoxzentrum, Eawag/EPFL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon, NFP 61 Projekt AGWAM Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Eawag - Projekt SWIP (NFP 61) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Eawag - Umweltwirtschafts-Wissenschaften Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
EGU 2014 Talk given at a conference Prediction of diffuse organic micropollutant loads in streams under changing climatic, socio-economic and technical boundary conditions with an integrated transport model 30.04.2014 Wien, Austria Schuwirth Nele; Rieckermann Jörg; Stamm Christian; Honti Mark;
Symposium for European Freshwater sciences Talk given at a conference Streambugs: A mechanistic model for the community composition of macroinvertebrates in streams 01.07.2013 Münster, Germany Schuwirth Nele;
MCDM Conference 2013 Talk given at a conference How to Support Environmental Management by MCDM Techniques 17.06.2013 Malaga, Spain Reichert Peter;
22nd International Conference on Multiple Criteria Decision Making Talk given at a conference Incorporation and communication of uncertainty in decision support for environmental management- a case study on water quality improvement 17.06.2013 Malaga, Spain Schuwirth Nele;
EGU 2013 Poster Uncertainty of a hydrological climate change impact assessment - Is it all about climate uncertainty? 08.04.2013 Wien, Austria Stamm Christian; Reichert Peter;
EGU 2013 Talk given at a conference A high-resolution conceptual model for diffuse organic micropollutant loads in streams 08.04.2013 Wien, Austria Honti Mark; Stamm Christian;
4th international EcoSummit - Ecological Sustainability, Restoring the Planet's Ecosystem Services Talk given at a conference Modelling the Community of Macroinvertebrates in Streams 30.09.2012 Columbus, Ohio, United States of America Schuwirth Nele;
Ecosummit Conference 2012 Talk given at a conference The Theoretical Foundation of Environmental Decision Support and its Application to River Management 30.09.2012 Columbus, OH, United States of America Reichert Peter;
6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs) Talk given at a conference Incorporation of uncertainty in decision support to improve water quality 01.07.2012 Leipzig, Germany Schuwirth Nele;
iEMSs Conference 2012 Talk given at a conference Conceptual and Practical Aspects of Quantifying Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling and Decision Support 01.07.2012 Leipzig, Germany Reichert Peter;
M³-life+ Workshop - Modelling Monitoring Management Talk given at a conference Modeling the community composition of macroinvertebrates in streams 12.06.2012 Köln, Germany Schuwirth Nele;
CCB Workshop Stochastic Demography in Fluctuating Environments: Theory and Empirical Patterns Talk given at a conference Modeling the community composition of invertebrates in streams 23.04.2012 Helgeland, Norway Schuwirth Nele;
EGU 2012 Poster Integrated uncertainty assessment of flow predictions under climate change 22.04.2012 Wien, Austria Reichert Peter; Honti Mark; Stamm Christian;
ZHydro (Hydrology seminar) ETHZ 2011 Poster . Integrated uncertainty assessment of a simple CRR model 15.11.2011 Zürich, Switzerland Stamm Christian; Honti Mark; Reichert Peter;
Management of Water in a Changing World: Lessons Learnt and Innovative Perspectives Talk given at a conference The Theoretical Foundation of Environmental Decision Support and its Application to River Management 12.10.2011 Dresden, Germany Reichert Peter;
21st International Conference on Multiple Criteria Decision Making Talk given at a conference Decision Support for Environmental Management: The example of a River Management Framework 13.06.2011 Jyväskylän (Fi), Finland Schuwirth Nele;
2. Water Research Horizon Conference Talk given at a conference Simulating change in water quality - sensitivity, effects and ecological responses to changes in water and matter fluxes 08.06.2011 Berlin, Germany Stamm Christian;
North American Benthological Society (NABS) Annual Meeting 2011 Talk given at a conference An attempt to predict the composition of the benthic invertebrate community in streams 22.05.2011 Providence (USA), United States of America Schuwirth Nele;
EGU 2011 Poster A comprehensive framework for integrated water quality management 04.04.2011 Wien (Österreich), Austria Honti Mark; Schuwirth Nele; Reichert Peter; Stamm Christian;
EGU 2011 Poster Integrated uncertainty assessment of a simple CRR model 04.04.2011 Wien, Austria Honti Mark; Stamm Christian; Reichert Peter;
River Corridor Restoration Conference - RCRC11 Talk given at a conference Concepts of Environmental Decision Support and their Application to River Management 13.03.2011 Ascona, Switzerland Reichert Peter;
ZHydro (Hydrology seminar) ETHZ 2010 Talk given at a conference Application of delta-change scenarios for stream hydrology on the Swiss Plateau 08.11.2010 Zürich, Switzerland Reichert Peter; Stamm Christian; Honti Mark;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
70. VSA-Hauptmitgliederversammlung Talk 25.04.2014 Olten, Switzerland Stamm Christian;
Eawag Infotag 2012 Talk 22.06.2012 Dübendorf, Switzerland Schuwirth Nele;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
PEAK-Kurs "Methoden des Fliessgewässermanagements" 21.10.2014 Dübendorf, Switzerland
PEAK-Fachtagung Herausforderungen einer nachhaltigen Wasserwirtschaft 14.09.2012 Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract

Over the next decades, environmental and societal changes are expected to affect many aspects of water quality like nutrient, toxicant and fine sediment concentrations. In order to minimize the negative impacts on the ecological status of running waters, iWaQa aims at developing and testing a decision support framework for Integrated River Water Quality Management that allows for evaluating management alternatives under conditions of environmental and societal change. The practical relevance and innovation potential of the approach will be demonstrated in two catchments in the Swiss Plateau, in close collaboration with the municipal and cantonal authorities.The scientific focus of iWaQa, embedded into the overarching decision support framework, is on exploring the link between water quality and the ecological status of streams. As a core element, we will develop a Probabilistic Network Model (PNM), which will integrate the relevant knowledge in a formal framework to assess the outcome of different management options. The submodels incorporated into the PNM are both existing simulation tools and novel models currently being developed in on-going Eawag projects. Water quality will be treated comprehensively including nutrients, toxicants and fine sediments. The ecological effects of possible changes in water quality will be assessed by taking into account expected changes in flow and temperature regimes of the streams. iWaQa is an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary project, which brings together scientists from ecology, environmental chemistry, engineering and systems analysis as well as regulators and water managers. Due to the limited duration, it will build to a large extent on existing knowledge complemented by data from a 1 year field campaign in both study areas.Clearly, our main focus is related to sustainable water resources management (module 2 of NRP 61) but there are strong ties to hydrological processes (module 1) and to socio-economic aspects (module 3). Thus, iWaQa will yield insight how integrated management approaches can be enhanced by improved theoretical frameworks, better understanding for specific processes and broader data availability. From a practical point of view the project will give insight which water quality issues may be of major concern in the future and guide the involved stakeholders to ensure a good ecological status in aquatic systems.
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