Assessment and prioritization of complex contamination particularly in European water resources


Presently, almost 90 million chemicals are known and registered in the Chemical Abstracts Service. More than 100,000 chemicals are in daily use in Europe and typically more than 10,000 compounds are detected in environmental samples. This is contrasted by a small number of chemicals, which are monitored in European surface waters, such as the 45 priority pollutants established by the European Commission. In addition, so called River Basin Specific Pollutants (RBSPs) shall be defined and monitored. Since it is impossible to monitor all chemicals in the environment, it is a major task to identify those chemicals that drive toxic risks in a water body, a river basin, or on European scale. Thus, together with the European network NORMAN we are working on concepts for the prioritization of emerging pollutants and assess environmental pollution on a river basin and European scale. As addressed in the European Integrated Project SOLUTIONS prioritization and assessment includes legacy, present and future pollutants and requires an integration of monitoring, modelling and scenario approaches.  

The integration of large scale monitoring with modelling approaches is realized in the SOLUTIONS case study on the River Danube based on the Joint Danube Survey 3. Scientists from all over Europe analyse a multitude of habitat parameters, microbial, algal, invertebrate and fish communities and the full range of chemical contaminants and their effects in this case study.