Water quality management and pollution control in a river basin require representative data on quality and pollution indicators. Data collection should be based on a well designed monitoring program, and its implementation must be realized in a quality assured manner. Quality assurance in environmental monitoring is a complicated issue even in the case of a single country, and it is further complicated in an international river basin. The monitoring approach and the level of capabilities, e.g., experience, instrumentation, could be different in the riparian countries. This requires efforts for harmonization of the transnational monitoring program using validation methods and forcing quality control measures including intercomparison exercises for analytical quality control.The Monitoring, Laboratory and Information Management Sub-Group (MLIM-SG) in the Environmental Programme for the Danube River Basin (EPDRB) is responsible to harmonize the water quality monitoring in the Danube catchment. In 1996, implementation of Phase 1 of the Trans-National Monitoring Network (TNMN) is going on in 11 countries. Each country is represented by a National Reference Laboratory (NRL). Prerequisites of data validation include the selection of appropriate methodologies, development of laboratory facilities, organization of integrated training, and implementation of performance testing for analytical quality control which are coordinated by the Laboratory Management Working Group (LMWG). In the framework of the international programme, Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) are prepared, and the intercomparison exercises are performed in the QualcoDanube and other performance testing schemes. The results of the regularly distributed test samples show significant improvement in the analysis of nutrients.Different statistical approaches are used for data interpretation and presentation which should be adjusted to the water quality management information needs. It is important to differentiate between information needs at political level and water expert level. Water quality targets and objectives are under development in one of the specific research projects and will provide basis for interpretation. Although interpretation methods used in other countries could be copied in many cases, regional and local conditions should be considered. It is expected that the efforts made in the Danube river basin will achieve their objectives to obtain reliable, comparative monitoring results for pollution control.
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- Transboundary Water Pollution Monitoring: Data Validation and Interpretation
- Springer Netherlands
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