All the participants of GLOBAQUA met in Athens on 19 - 20 November 2014 for the 1st annual project meeting to discuss about the progress and the future plan of the project.  The GLOBAQUA Steering Committee met as well. The event was organized by project partner ATHENA.

During the 1st year of the project, an internal DataBase was designed and created in order to allow GLOBAQUA partners gathering the experimental data generated within the project. The DataBase is flexible to accommodate broad classes of data (e.g. penomenological, socio-economical). A preliminary setup of land use models in the Ebro case study (DINAMICA, CLUE-S) and hydrological models (WaSiM) in the Adige case study was carried out. In this course, the determinants of land use change were investigated for the Ebro basin as a first case study. Climate model data were post-processed and analyzed. The study of sediment transport started with a focus on the Ebro River where sediment budgets were calculated. The definition of the subsurface structures focused on the Vermigliana river (Noce, Adige catchment) where data from a previously installed monitoring system for time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and a distributed temperature sensing (DRT) system were evaluated, showing that these techniques allow a delineation of the hyporheic zone. A methodological approach of using turbidity as proxy for the total concentration of suspended solids, particle-bound pollutants concentrations, and fluxes in rivers was developed. During 2014 samplings were carried out in Evrotas, Sava and Adige basins. Suitable locations for event sampling (starting in 2015) were selected together with catchments managers in Adige and Sava.

A sampling protocol with instructions for organising the harmonized sampling of water, sediment and biota was written. List of class contaminants that will be investigated within the river basins was also made along with all necessary information on the sample preservation and transport requirements. Metals were analysed in water, suspended particulate matter and sediments samples from the Sava River, collected in the first sampling campaign in September 2014. A common protocol for the biological sampling was compiled with the other sampling protocols (hydrological, chemical and functional). During 2014 biological samplings were carried out in Evrotas and Sava. In Adige River this sampling is planned for February 2015.

Regarding the study of the invasiveness level and forecasting of species risk, available data were examined and collected using questionnaire and contacting Water Agencies. Data from the Ebro river basin were collected to provide data for Response Models on structural and functional diversity according to pressures identified in basins. On July 2014 the sites in the Ebro basin were selected to design a field experiment to test the effects of WWTP on streams on communities. The indicators to measure were evaluated in a meeting done in Barcelona (December 2014). Progress in the definition of a toolbox of methods for ecosystem functioning and in developing new tools for degradation of polimers and emerging contaminants were made. Common protocols for ecosystem metabolism and degradation of organic matter were written. General experiment on degradation of organic matter started in Adige (UNITN). An experiment was performed on the effects of enhanced atmospheric CO2 on litter quality and degradation. An experimental water abstraction was performed in a stream to analyse impacts on communities and ecosystem functioning. Advancements were achieved on methods to calculate reaeration, necessary to analyse temporal series of metabolism. A laboratory experiment was performed at ICRA’s facilities to study combined effects of nutrients and pharmaceuticals on biofilm structure and functioning.

During 2014, the required data to estimate the 4 selected freshwater ecosystem services were gathered: water provisioning, erosion control, waste treatment, and habitat for species. At the end of 2014, the calibration of the model on water provisioning for the Ebro and the Adige basins started, and will continue with the Sava and the Evrotas once all the hydrological data from the gauging stations in the basin will be available. Nutrient and sediment data required to calibrate the models on erosion control and waste treatment will be gathered during 2015. All the calculations will be done with the InVEST model. An integrated methodology for the sustainable environmental and socioeconomic management of water resources ecosystem services was developed.

A three step approach was proposed, in line with the requirements of the economic analysis in the WFD and the relevant guidelines of the WATECO document. This approach consists of: socio-economic characterization of the River Basin area, assessment of the current recovery of water use cost, and identification and suggestion of appropriate programs of measures for sustainable water management over space and time. The ecosystem services approach was incorporated into the proposed methodology. A cooperative platform with WP2, WP8, WP9,WP12 and WP13 was set; input will be integrated to the Stakeholder workshops (Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Workshop). The methodology to investigate the economic value of freshwater ecosystem services was reported. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) approach provides a framework for assessing multiple stressor and multiple outputs of a river basin, facilitating management of a complex system. Economic valuation includes monetary and non-monetary methods. An assessment of which methods are most suitable for which services along with the information required for the valuation and the sources of this data was carried out. A methodological framework to bridge the gap between TEEB and DPSIR was also proposed.

An initial stakeholder workshop to identify the key services and issues within the case study was done, followed by social surveys to test the findings. The final activity will be a second stakeholder workshop to validate the findings and provide feedback on the process. Stakeholder maps are being produced for each of the case study areas. A review of all current EU policy related to water management, with consideration of whether it addresses multiple stressors under water scarcity, was performed. Opportunities for influencing future changes to policy with the outputs from GLOBAQUA have been discussed. A more in depth analysis of the implementation of the WFD was performed, looking at the EU level, member state level and the river basin level. A number of challenges were identified in the implementation, specific to the objectives of GLOBAQUA. These were in the use of evidence in decision making; the provision of adequate and appropriate monitoring data for assessing pressures, status and measures; and in the integration of WFD objectives to all areas of policy. Emphasis was placed on the collaboration with two other projects funded in the same call: MARS (www.mars-project.eu) and SOLUTIONS (www.solutions-project.eu). In this sense common meetings with MARS were held in February 2014 (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) and October 2014 (Lisbon, Portugal), and with SOLUTIONS in October 2014 (Delft, NL).

In addition Barcelona hosted in December 2014 the first combined workshop on the effects of pharmaceuticals in river catchments with the EU funded projects Endetech, Cytothreat as well as with the Spanish funded project Scarce. These project meetings and the combined workshop strengthened the cooperation between the different experts of the projects as well as with other on-going projects.

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