Producing , implementing policies and optimising water management across Europe

Work under this regard included the assessment of data based on a set of criteria finalised during methodology development and using the analytical tools (qualitative/quantitative) of the Inventory. The aim was to assess and comment on the performance of key ongoing EU, national, regional, international and EU-third party scientific activities and results.

Research gaps were identified with the help of the Joint Panel of Experts (JPE) on the basis of a harmonised knowledge-pool collected from all across Europe and on the basis of identified research priorities. Contemporary water related research papers were also considered in a global context with focus on the subsurface/groundwater part of the hydrological cycle, but including the interaction between groundwater and dependent terrestrial and associated aquatic ecosystems as well as new emerging pressures such as emerging contaminants (e.g. pharmaceuticals), climate change and shale gas exploration and exploitation. This comparison was realised not only among research projects, but also with existing recommendations and position papers on groundwater related research requirements on the same issues, recommendations by the EIP on Water/WssTP for the identification of research gaps taking into account the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The identification of research gaps is expected to provide useful suggestions for the actualisation and continuous development of research and innovation agendas in line with WFD.

The identified research gaps have been converted into specific recommendations for the further development of policies and (EU-level) research programmes. This task also focussed on developing recommendations for research and innovation on cost-efficient monitoring and modelling for the provision and aggregation of data required for a sound understanding of groundwater interaction with dependent terrestrial and associated aquatic ecosystems including data required for derivation of groundwater threshold values based on good status objectives for groundwater dependent and associated aquatic ecosystems and status assessments for these. Recommendations have been formulated with the help of the Joint Panel of Experts (JPE) on the basis of a very accurate “snapshot” of hydrogeology-related research and innovation in Europe. The outcomes of this task have been used for the stimulation of new (ground)water research and innovation directions in Europe.