AN APPROACH FOR HYDRO-MORPHOLOGICAL MONITORING OF RIVER WATER BODIES
Iulia LUPU, Marinela MOLDOVEANU, Ruth PERJU, Andreea C. GALIE
ABSTRACT.- An approach for hydro-morphological monitoring of river water bodies. Historically, the "freshwater quality" was assessed in terms of chemical and/or pollution status. Later on, the concept of "freshwater quality" has been extended to incorporate a full range of physical, chemical, hydro-morphological and biological features. In Europe, the process of monitoring rivers’ hydro-morphological features has been enhanced as a result of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. The Directive 2014/101/EC amending the Annex V of WFD requires to take into account the ‘guidance standards’ to monitor and assess hydro-morphology using a comprehensive and particularized set of hydro morphological features of rivers. This standards provide a general framework concerning how and what to monitor in terms of rivers’ hydro-morphology, namely what should be the elements observed, how should the field surveys be planed and accomplished, how should the results be interpreted and presented. The paper presents the steps and issues encountered in defining the set of hydro-morphological features particularized for Romania, as well as the rules and criteria for defining the survey units within the surface water bodies, in terms of location and dimension. The proposed approach takes into account the present state of rivers’ monitoring activity and the current designation of surface water bodies, at national level. In this regard, the establishment of the survey units is considered dependent of the position of existing monitoring points (gauging stations, quality monitoring sites, auxiliary gauging sites). In addition, the paper presents the proposed parameters to monitor the hydro-morphological features for the three zones of surface water bodies (channel, river banks and floodplain) defined/established in WFD standards. As an innovative element for Romanian hydro-morphological monitoring, the characterization of the morphological features along the river is highlighted. This research could be the basis for an integrated approach concerning the monitoring and assessment of rivers’ ecological status, as well as for the development of a survey unit protocol for recording the changes of specific hydrological and morphological features of rivers/water bodies.
Keywords: rivers, hydro-morphological features, survey unit, survey unit protocol