The inadequacy of monitoring without modelling support

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10 Citations (Scopus)


There is much to gain in joining monitoring and modelling efforts, especially in the present process of implementing the European Water Framework Directive and in the coming implementation of the Groundwater Directive. Nevertheless, present practises in the water management world suggest that most often models are not considered an option when monitoring obligations in the WFD are solved. The present paper analyses the constraints, such as perceived insufficiency of data for modelling, lack of explicit requirement for modelling in the WFD and its associated technical guidance documents, lack of awareness about what models can do and lack of confidence in models by water managers and policy makers. The findings have mainly emerged from a series of Harmoni-CA workshops aiming at bringing the monitoring and modelling communities together for a discussion of benefits and constraints in the joint use of monitoring and modelling. The workshops were attended by scientists, water managers, policy makers, stakeholders and consultants. The overall conclusion is that modelling can significantly improve the benefits of monitoring data; by quality assurance of data, interpolation and extrapolation in space and time, development of process understanding (conceptual models), and the assessment of impacts of pressures and effects of programmes of measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-942
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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