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WFD Indicators and Definition of the Ecological Status of Rivers

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Abstract

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to solve the problems derived from the use of water, a limited natural resource, by extending the scope of protection to all water uses. The WDF defines the ecological status of water bodies by characterizing each water body type and establishing conditions for the quality elements. This paper identifies valid indicators for defining the ecological status of Estanco River Basin, located in the province of Lugo, NW of Spain, by using the methodology proposed in the WFD. In addition, this study highlights the obstacles for a correct application of the WFD in the study river basin. After characterization of the study river basin and establishment of specific reference conditions, this study presents conclusions about the usefulness of the WFD in the development of specific programmes for improving the ecological status of rivers.

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Correspondence to T. S. Cuesta.

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Carballo, R., Cancela, J.J., Iglesias, G. et al. WFD Indicators and Definition of the Ecological Status of Rivers. Water Resour Manage 23, 2231–2247 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-008-9379-9

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Keywords

  • Water management
  • WFD
  • Rivers
  • Quality elements
  • Reference conditions
  • Ecological status
  • Basin