The project Waters - Waterbody Assessment Tools for Ecological Reference conditions and status in Sweden - started in 2011 and finished in 2016. It was financed by Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket). SLU contributed with 17 MSEK.
The projects objective was to develop and improve the assessment criteria that are used to classify the status of Swedish coastal and inland waters in accordance with the EC Water Framework Directive. WATERS focused particularly on the biological quality elements used in water quality assessments, i.e., macrophytes, benthic invertebrates, phytoplankton, and fish; in streams, benthic diatoms are also considered. The research programme have also refined the criteria used for integrated assessments of ecological water status.
The results are directly linked to the applied management of waters, and the programme is working closely with the authorities responsible for coordinating water management and assessing the state of Swedish lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, i.e., the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the Swedish River Basin District Authorities.
The following researchers from the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessments participated in the project: Richard K Johnson, Brendan McKie, Maria Kahlert, Frauke Ecke och Stina Drakare.
External partners were Göteborg University, Umeå University, Stockholm University, SMHI, Århus University, Hafolk, Marine Monitoring AB, Toxicon AB, Sveriges Vattenekologi AB, AquaBiota Water Research.
The final report can be downloaded here: Ecological assessment of Swedish water bodies: Development, harmonisation and integration of biological indicators (pdf).