EUNIS inland surface waters habitat revision - consultation

Consultation deadline has been reached. Apply for reviewer rights

Comments are disabled since the deadline for this consultation has passed.


We are pleased to inform you that a proposed revision of the inland surface waters section of the EUNIS habitat classification, levels 1-3, is now available for review up until 23 June 2019.

The EUNIS habitat classification is widely used and has been adopted as one of the reference code lists of the INSPIRE Directive Annex III, Habitats and Biotopes. However, the current classification mostly dates from 2004 (Davies, Moss & Hill, 2004). There have been frequent demands for an update to take into account our increasing knowledge and experience in using the classification.

An EIONET consultation for the revised marine section (section A) was held in summer 2015. Further consultations were held for the forest and heath sections of the classification (2016), grasslands (2017) and remaining habitat groups (2018), excluding inland surface waters and habitat complexes.

As a habitat expert, you are invited to participate in this online consultation.

The revision at level 2 divides habitats into standing and running waters. Level 3 is based on physio-chemical parameters such as size, altitude and geology (reflecting trophic status). It is planned to base level 4 on parameters such as depth, stratification (lakes), slope (rivers) with species composition included in levels 5 to 6.

The revision aligns to a certain extent this section of the EUNIS habitats classification with the broad types developed to help with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. As EUNIS aims to be a comprehensive classification, the proposed classification at level 3 includes additional river/lake types, for example temporary lakes and tidal rivers. The proposed revision does not include dune slacks (treated in coastal habitats), coastal lagoons (marine) or very artificial reservoirs (artificial habitats).

The consultation only concerns levels 1 to 3, the further levels will be dealt with in a second step once the framework at levels 1 to 3 is agreed.

The revised classification is given in a table attached below. A spreadsheet showing links to the current EUNIS inland water classification, together with descriptions and links to the typology of EU’s Water Framework Directive Broad Types can be downloaded from this web page.

The EEA is consulting with a range of stakeholders and users of the classification. You can reply as individual or representing your organization. In the latter case, please indicate so in the relevant comments. 

Eionet NRC biodiversity and Eionet NRC water quality are also invited to participate. Eionet NFP, Eionet NRC water quantity and Eionet NRC water emissions are copied for their information. Should a colleague be better placed to respond to the consultation, you are welcome to forward this e-mail. People that have not received a direct invitation to participate to the consultation are welcome but are kindly asked to communicate first with the EEA in order to receive a personalized link.

It is possible to upload files for background information. However, for the review only comments provided in the online tool will be processed. Please restrict your comments to levels 1 to 3. No codes have been given to the proposed classes at this point, these will be added later.

Data protection rules under EC Regulation No 2018/1725 are applicable to this consultation. Please find below a Privacy Statement for your consideration.

If you have any questions regarding the consultation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Eleni Tryfon ( and Doug Evans ( copying Mette Lund ( ).

Files attached to this consultation
Section Comments
Standing surface waters 23
Running surface waters 14