EIONET Priority Data Flows

EUROWATERNET Data Collection 2001

To: National Focal Points (NFPs) of EEA member countries and EEA candidate countries
From: Niels Thyssen, EEA
Date: 24 September 2001

Dear National Focal Point

I am writing to inform you of the detailed plans for the annual updating of data obtained through EUROWATERNET, and the subsequent inclusion of data and information on your national rivers, lakes (reservoirs) and groundwaters into WATERBASE. This was mentioned in our letter of 17 July on EIONET Priority Data Flows. This first formal EUROWATERNET data flow will run until mid-November 2001.

The data sets to be collected through this exercise have been selected on the basis of the following criteria:

The data sets to be collected under the 2001 EUROWATERNET data flow will cover rivers, lakes and groundwaters state (quality, concentrations) and pressures. This will be accompanied by the first steps in developing and implementing the EUROWATERNET-Impact network, which is essential for policy assessment. Information on the requirements is provided in the document: Guidance on Updating of Priority Data Flows . A description is given of the parameters by water body type, the temporal coverage, the type of data and statistics to be reported, and the units of measurement.

Summaries and some overview statistics of the data you have previously submitted through EUROWATERNET and which is now in WATERBASE have also been posted to the Interest Group EIONET Water in the library section EUROWATERNET Update 2001 which is organised by water type: rivers, lakes and groundwater.

You are invited to download, examine and validate your national data. The summaries identify gaps in the information you have provided to date, gaps which you might now be able to fill. Instructions on how to deliver the updated data files will be provided by EEA <mailto:hermann.peifer@eea.eu.int> in the context of the EIONET Priority Data Flows.

We have decided to focus the data flow for 2001 on freshwaters only. Guidelines are being developed for implementing EUROWATERNET for coastal and transitional waters and these have been discussed at the EIONET workshop in September 17-18 in Oslo. We expect that these waters will be added to the data flow exercise in 2002.

We also do not propose to collect data on water resources and use as these will be collected under the Inland Water part of the OECD/Eurostat Joint Questionnaire 2002 (JQ 2002). This questionnaire has been revised substantially taking EEA's and ETC/IW's proposals for changes according to the EWN methodology into account. The  JQ 2002 is thus brought now much closer in line with the needs of the Water Framework Directive.

However, we are inviting countries with a particular interest in the quantity aspects of EUROWATERNET to read the technical document uploaded to the library section on groundwater.

Finally, it is planned in 2002 to revise the EUROWATERNET technical guidelines to include all these new aspects and to take into account the considerable experience gained from countries, and the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

We hope in the meantime that this information will be useful for you to begin organising a programme of work with your NRCs for the September-November period.

The EEA and its former Topic Centre on Inland Waters (ETC/IW) undertook initial visits to most countries to introduce and discuss EUROWATERNET with NFPs and NRCs. The ETC/WATER is in the position to offer further technical assistance if so requested by countries. Please contact ETC/WATER <mailto:nixon@wrcplc.co.uk> with a courtesy copy of the request to me <mailto:niels.thyssen@eea.eu.int>.

Best regards

Niels Thyssen

Acting Programme Manager
Environmental Assessment