Central to the two days of discussions was the challenge of multiple pressures: the often unpredictable interactions between individual pressures on freshwaters, such as pollution, floods, droughts and river bank alterations.
Despite growing awareness of the importance of multiple pressures, their joint impacts on aquatic ecosystems are not well understood, and as a result they are poorly reflected in existing River Basin Management Plans – the framework through which the Water Framework Directive is implemented in Europe.
MARS is a research project and supports European policies, such as the Water Framework Directive and the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources.
MARS has two target groups: "water managers" assessing and restoring rivers and lakes; and policy makers drafting and implementing policies related to water.
The main objectives of MARS are the following:
- To understand the effects of multiple stressors on surface waters and groundwaters, their biota, and the services they provide to humans
- To understand how ecological status and ecosystem services are related – if at all
- To advise river basin management how to restore multiply stressed rivers and lakes
- To advise the revision of the Water Framework Directive on new indicators for ecological status and ecosystem services
- To develop methods and software for the Programmes of Measures
Photos from the workshop, a film and the slides presented can be found via the link below.