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Hydromorphological Methodologies to Assess Ecological Status in Mediterranean Rivers: Applied Approach to the Catalan River Basin District

  • Evelyn Garcia-BurgosEmail author
  • Mònica Bardina
  • Carolina Solà
  • Montserrat Real
  • Joana Capela
  • Antoni Munné
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 42)

Abstract

Methodologies currently used to assess hydromorphological features in Mediterranean rivers are reviewed in this chapter. Most relevant methodologies developed across Europe in compliance with WFD (Water Framework Directive) are also analyzed, along with their adaptations to different spatial scales from European, national to regional scales. We also present those hydromorphological protocols that have been developed, used and tested in the Catalan River Basin District, within the framework of monitoring programmes under the requirements of the WFD. The Catalan Water Agency developed a comprehensive protocol to assess hydromorphological conditions in Catalan watersheds, named HIDRI, which assesses and combines hydrological alteration, river continuity and morphological conditions. HIDRI is a compiled protocol based on different metrics and includes large information at river catchment scale.

This chapter also introduces challenges and opportunities in using hydromorphological information for river management. Considerations for an extensive use of hydromorphology assessment in Mediterranean rivers are presented as well as those recommendations to be included in River Basin Management Plans and in the Programme of Measures to achieve good ecological status according to the WFD objectives.

Keywords

Catalan River basin district Eco-hydromorphology HIDRI protocol Hydromorphological assessment River basin management plan Water framework directive 

Abbreviations

ACA

Catalan water agency (in Catalan: Agència Catalana de lAigua)

CEN

A guidance standard for assessing the hydromorphological features of rivers (2002). CEN-TC 230/WG 2/TG 5: N32.

CRBD

Catalan river basin district

EU

European Union

HIDRI

Hydromorphological quality index used in Catalonia (in Catalan: Protocol davaluació de la qualitat HIDromorfològica dels RIus)

HYMO

Hydromorphology

IHA

Index of hydrological alteration

IHF

River habitat index (in Spanish: Índice del Hábitat Fluvial)

QBR

Riparian forest quality index (in Catalan: Qualitat del Bosc de Ribera)

RBMP

River basin management plan

WB

Water body

WFD

Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)

Notes

Acknowledgments

We really appreciate the help provided by all people involved in the Catalan Water Monitoring Program (from Catalan Water Agency). Special thanks to Gloria González who managed the Mediterranean river project [41], as well as Elvira Romans and other field technicians from URS company who work in this project. We also recognize the help provided by Carlos López and GIS technicians who assure databases and produce maps for this chapter. Finally, we are indebted to Fernando Gurrucharri and his team from the Spanish Ministry of Environment.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn Garcia-Burgos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mònica Bardina
    • 1
  • Carolina Solà
    • 1
  • Montserrat Real
    • 2
  • Joana Capela
    • 3
  • Antoni Munné
    • 1
  1. 1.Catalan Water Agency (ACA)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.United Research Services España SLUBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.United Research Services Infrastructure & Environment UK LimitedNottinghamUK

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