Definition of Maximum Ecological Potential

Part of the International and European Environmental Policy Series book series (ENVIRONMENTAL)


As indicated in the Heavily Modified and Artificial Water Bodies (HMWB and AWB) designation process, following the designation of HMWB and AWB, it is necessary to identify the appropriate reference conditions and environmental objectives for AWB and HMWB (Steps 10 and 11 of Fig. 2.1, p. 12). While for natural waters the reference condition is the High Ecological Status (HES), for HMWB and AWB it is the Maximum Ecological Potential (MEP) as defined in Step 10 of Fig. 2.1. According to the WFD, the Maximum Ecological Potential is defined as the state where “the values of the relevant biological quality elements reflect, as far as possible, those associated with the closest comparable surface water body type, given the physical conditions, which result from the heavily modified characteristics of the body” (WFD Annex V 1.2.5).


Reference Site Mitigation Measure Guidance Document Quality Element Ecological Potential 
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  1. 1.
    DHRAM has been developed as a tool for assessing the severity of hydrologic regime alteration on a five-class scale, using the concept of risk to indicate the likely severity of regime alteration.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecologic Institute for International and EuropeanEnvironmental PolicyBerlinGermany

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