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Integrating Water Quality Monitoring with Numerical Modelling in Two Mediterranean Remote Basins

Author(s): Michael Nones; Nena Ioannidou; Achilleas G. Samaras; Dionissis Latinopoulos; Christos S. Akratos; Ifigeneia Kagalou; Panagiotis B. Angelidis

Linked Author(s): Michael Nones

Keywords: Eastern Macedonia and Thrace district; HecRas model; Laspias river; Lissos river; River hydrodynamics

Abstract: Surface aquatic ecosystems are among the most degraded habitats, as they are usually exposed simultaneously to several stressors with synergistic effects. Only about 40% of Europe's rivers reach the “good ecological status”, a target set by the European Water Framework Directive, while providing various services that humans depend upon. Water scarcity especially in regions such as the Mediterranean basin can amplify the effects of water pollution, posing a greater risk to their sustainability. Within the Eye4water project (www. eye4water. com), two Mediterranean basins, located in the Thrace region in Greece, were selected as case studies to develop integrated monitoring strategies combined with ICT technologies for water quality assessment and management support. These two basins are affected by increasing human pressure, and the lack of appropriate monitoring at the watershed scale, factors negatively affecting the early recognition of pollution drivers, leading to delayed adoption of horizontal management strategies. The present study focuses on taking advantage of such an extensive monitoring network to force numerical simulations for depicting habitat conditions along the investigated streams, aiming to enhance ecohydrological modelling fidelity to further support management decision-making. In 2021-2022,6 sampling campaigns were conducted in 7 sites along the Laspias River and in 11 sites along the Lissos River to monitor hydrological, water quality and biotic parameters. The data were used to calibrate and validate water quality models in HecRas, needed for future prediction scenarios. The findings revealed important daily fluctuation rates, proposing that a monitoring-modelling coupled approach can provide useful insights into management strategies of heavily modified environments. Moreover, the knowledge base built by monitoring results and modelling scenarios stressed the need for developing further integrated monitoring networks to assess distributed pressures in basin scale, to eventually improve with tailored-made solutions the status of Greek and Mediterranean rivers.


Year: 2023

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