The Water Framework Directive Explorer

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is one of the most important policy directives in Europe for the improvement of water quality and ecology. Water management authorities such as ministries and regional water authorities must propose measures to improve the ecological status of water bodies and evaluate which measures will be the most effective. Deltares worked together with numerous partners to develop a new software tool to help water managers to assess proposed measures and evaluate results.

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Analysis tool to support the implementation of the WFD

The WFD Explorer is an analysis tool designed to support the implementation of the WFD. The tool makes it possible to calculate the effect of restoration and mitigation measures on the ecological and chemical quality of surface waters. Users can see how effective programmes of measures are in relation to WFD objectives. Measures can be defined in relation to point sources such as wastewater treatment plants and diffuse sources such as agriculture and traffic. Similarly, it is possible to calculate the effectiveness of restoration measures such as stream re-meandering or the construction of near-natural riparian zones. A cost module is available to calculate and map the costs of measures, making it possible to assess the cost-effectiveness of different programmes of measures.

Easy to set up a model

Users can easily import or adjust their own information such as emission data and area-specific characteristics. The user-friendly user interface makes it easy to set up a model, perform an analysis and produce results in reports in an organised and systematic way. Those reports can then be used in policy briefings, for communications with stakeholders and as background documentation for reports to the European Commission. The tool helps to stimulate and structure the development of ecological knowledge.