Table of contents

7.3. Methodologies classification ecological status and potential

Annex V of the WFD specifies how Member States are to monitor and present ‘status’ classification. The European Commission needs to ensure that ‘good status/potential’ has been defined according to the provisions of the Directive, and in a consistent and comparable way throughout the EU. The status requirements refer to all QEs in the Directive, chemical and biological. The normative provisions of Annex V provide a starting point. However, interpretation and application of these definitions may differ which may lead to a wide range of variation between the Member States. In this respect, it is important to compare the criteria and thresholds that Member States have set. Whilst it is recognised that the intercalibration exercise has set out to ensure that the definition of high and good ecological status is consistent, the intercalibration exercise will not result in the findings of whether the Member States have followed the results of intercalibration or whether class boundaries have been established for all required water body types and quality elements. However, the intercalibration exercise has provided a useful template for the collection of such information which has been used in the development of this WFD Reporting Guidance.

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Class BQEMethod

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

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bqeMethodName - Required.

Provide the name(s) of the assessment method(s) used for this BQE and category. The name(s) must be the same name(s) used in the RBMPs or background documents.

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bqeCode - Required.(bqeCode)

Select the BQE for which the assessment method applies.

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bqeCategoryRW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the assessment method apply to rivers?

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bqeCategoryLW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the assessment method apply to lakes?

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bqeCategoryTW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the assessment method apply to transitional waters?

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bqeCategoryCW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the assessment method apply to coastal waters?

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bqePercentageOfTypes - Required.

Report the percentage of types for this BQE and category for which an assessment method is fully developed.

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bqeSensitivityImpactNutrients - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to nutrient pollution?

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bqeSensitivityImpactOrganic - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to organic pollution?

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bqeSensitivityImpactChemical - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to chemical pollution?

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bqeSensitivityImpactSaline - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to saline pollution?

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bqeSensitivityImpactAcidification - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to acidification?

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bqeSensitivityImpactTemperature - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to elevated temperatures?

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bqeSensitivityImpactHydrological - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to altered habitats due to hydrological changes?

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bqeSensitivityImpactMorphological - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is the assessment method mainly sensitive to altered habitats due to morphological changes?

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bqeSensitivityImpactOther - Optional.

If relevant, report any other impact to which the assessment method is mainly sensitive that is not covered in the previous questions.

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Class SWSupportingQE

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

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supportingQECode - Required.(SupportingQE_Enum )

Select each supporting hydromorphological and physico-chemical QE in turn from the enumeration list and report the information in each of the following schema elements for each supporting QE. 

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supportingQECategoryRW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is this supporting QE assessed in terms of ecological status/potential in rivers? 

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supportingQECategoryLW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is this supporting QE assessed in terms of ecological status/potential in lakes? 

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supportingQECategoryTW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is this supporting QE assessed in terms of ecological status/potential in transitional waters? 

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supportingQECategoryCW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Is this supporting QE assessed in terms of ecological status/potential in coastal waters? 

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supportingQESensitivityBQE - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the classification boundaries for this supporting QE are related to the class boundaries for the sensitive BQEs.

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Class SWPhysicoChemicalQE

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

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physChemQECode - Required.(PhysChemQE_Enum)

Select each physico-chemical QE at the level 4 of aggregation in turn from the enumeration list and report the information in each of the following schema elements for each QE. If the QE for which there is a standard is not included the enumeration list please select the most relevant ‘Other’ QE and describe in more detail in physChemQEOther. 

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physChemQEOther - Conditional.

Report details of the physico-chemical QE for which there is a standard if it is not included the enumeration list in physChemQECode.

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physChemCategoryRW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does this physico-chemical standard apply to rivers? 

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physChemCategoryLW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does this physico-chemical standard apply to lakes? 

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physChemCategoryTW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does this physico-chemical standard apply to transitional waters? 

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physChemCategoryCW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does this physico-chemical standard apply to coastal waters? 

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physChemTypeCode - Required.

For each standard, report the Member State code for the characterisation type of the water body, as reported in the surface water characterisation schema (in schema element  surfaceWaterBodyTypeCode), and the RBMP and background documents.

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physChemValue - Required.

Report the value or range of the physico-chemical standard representing the good-moderate boundary only. 

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physChemUnit - Required.(UnitOfMeasure_Enum)

Report the unit of the physico-chemical standard. If ‘Other’ is selected then provide more information on the unit in physChemUnitOther.

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physChemUnitOther - Conditional.

Report if the unit of the physico-chemical standard is reported as ‘Other’ in physChemUnit.

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physChemStandardType - Required.(PhysChemStandardType_Enum)

Select the type of physico-chemical standard applied.

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physChemStandardOther - Conditional.

Report if the type of physico-chemical standard applied is reported as ‘Other’ in physChemStandardType.

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physChemGMBoundary - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the physico-chemical standard is consistent to the good-moderate status boundary of the relevant sensitive BQEs.

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Class SWRBSP

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

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rbspCode - Required.(RBSP_Enum)

Select each River Basin Specific Pollutant (RBSP) with a good-moderate EQS from the enumeration list. If there is more than one standard per substance (e.g. because there are different standards for different categories or matrices), the same RBSP can be introduced more than once.

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rbspOther - Conditional.  

If ‘rbspCode’ is ‘EEA_00-00-0 - Other chemical parameter’ please indicate in this field the CAS number (if relevant) and the name of the RBSP.

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rbspMatrix - Required.(Matrix_Enum)

Select the matrix in which the standard for the RBSP is applied for the purpose of assessment of ecological status.

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rbspCategoryRW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the standard apply to rivers? 

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rbspCategoryLW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the standard apply to lakes? 

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rbspCategoryTW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the standard apply to transitional waters? 

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rbspCategoryCW - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Does the standard apply to coastal waters? 

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rbspStandardType - Required.(EQStandardType_Enum)

Select the type of standard applied for each RBSP and matrix.

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rbspValue - Required.

For every combination of RBSP, matrix, standard type and category, report the value or range of the RBSP standard representing the good-moderate boundary only. 

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rbspUnit - Required.(UnitOfMeasure_Enum)

Report the unit of the RBSP standard.

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rbspScale - Required.(GeographicalScale_Enum)

Report the geographical scale at which the RBSP standard is applied.

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rbspTechGuidance - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the RBSP standard has been derived in accordance with the 2011 Technical Guidance Document No 27

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rbspAnalyticalMethod - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the analytical method used meets the minimum performance criteria laid down in Article 4.1 of the QA/QC Directive (2009/90/EC) for the strictest standard applied.

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rbspAnalyticalMethodBAT - Conditional.(YesNoCode_Enum)

If the analytical method does not meet the minimum performance criteria laid down in Article 4.1 of the QA/QC Directive, indicate whether the analytical method complies with the requirements laid down in Article 4.2 of the QA/QC Directive (2009/90/EC) for the strictest standard applied.

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Class SWTargetedQ

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

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oneOutAllOut - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the ‘one-out, all-out’ principle been applied in deriving the overall classification of the ecological status of a water body.

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groupingExtrapolation - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether the grouping of water bodies has been used in extrapolating the assessment and classification of ecological status from monitored water bodies to those water bodies with no monitoring sites. 

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gepDefined - Required.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether good ecological potential (GEP) has been defined.

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gepLevel - Conditional.(GEPLevel_Enum)

Indicate at what level GEP has been defined.

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gepApproach - Conditional.(GEPApproach_Enum)

Report the approach that has been adopted for defining GEP.

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gepBiology - Conditional.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether GEP has been defined in terms of biology (BQEs).

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mitigationMeasures - Conditional.(MitigationMeasure_Enum )

Select the mitigation measures without significant adverse effects on the use or the wider environment from the enumeration list that have been identified to define GEP. More than one mitigation measure may be selected.

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bqeForMEPGEP - Conditional.(BQE_Enum )

Select the BQEs from the enumeration list for which biological values were derived to define MEP and GEP. More than one BQE may be selected. 

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gesGepComparison - Conditional.(YesNoCode_Enum)

Indicate whether good ecological status (GES) and GEP have been compared, e.g. measured on a common scale.

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ecologicalStatusMethodReference - Required.(ReferenceType )

Provide references or hyperlinks to technical documents describing the methodologies used for the assessment of ecological status. Guidance on what should be included in this document is provided in Section 7.3.3.3

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gepMethodReference - Required.(ReferenceType )

Provide references or hyperlinks to technical documents describing the methodologies used for the assessment of ecological potential. Guidance on what should be included in this document is provided in Section 7.3.3.3

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driversFailureEcologicalStatusPotentialReference - Required.(ReferenceType)

Provide references or hyperlinks to technical documents describing the drivers and impacts behind the failures of good ecological status and potential. Guidance on what should be included in this document is provided in Section 7.3.3.3.

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Guidance on contents of RBMPs/background documents

(Please see the full text of this sub-section in the WFD Reporting Guidance 2016 or above chapter)

Include here any comments that relate to the information contained in this sub-section of the Reporting Guidance, namely concerning information you think could/should be reported electronically and information which you believe should not be included in the River Basin Management Plans or background documents.

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