ESPRES: Efficient Strategies for anthropogenic Pressure Reduction in European waterSheds

Integrated river basin management must address multiple environmental pressures while preserving its communities’ welfare. Managers need to consider potential trade-offs between environmental and economical targets, and to take transparent and accountable decisions. ESPRES is a web-based Decision Support Tool (DST) that can be used to explore management options for achieving environmental targets of European water bodies. The DST helps multicriteria river basin analyses of Drivers, Pressures, Status, Impact and Responses to identify most efficient investments to strike a balance between benefits to nature and to people. The user friendly web interface provides a point of access to perform analyses of efficient pressure reduction strategies reflecting the perception of stakeholder effort, which includes monetary costs, political difficulty, and social acceptability of available solutions. Two main pressures are currently enabled in ESPRES: water stress and nutrient application. Management options consider reductions by administrative regions and pressure drivers. Environmental impacts of management scenarios are assessed with European-scale models. Stakeholders express perceived difficulties in addressing drivers of environmental pressure by assigning relative weights. ESPRES includes an optimization engine that identifies trade-offs in terms of non-dominated (Pareto front) solutions between improvements in the status of water bodies and the effort required to achieve it. The web interface also includes practical tools to compare and identify efficient management strategies. The online trial version of ESPRES is available at for four GLOBAQUA River Basins (Adige, Ebro, Evrotas, and Sava). To access the web tool please request log-in credentials at A tutorial is available on the GLOBAQUA e-learning course here


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