As the world’s most “international” river, the Danube is also exposed to a diversity of influences. Agricultural and industrial use, energy recovery and municipal (waste) water management practices, together with flood control and navigation works, have negatively impacted and partly changed the inherent characteristics of the watercourse; to what extent and in what river sections long remained unknown.
This began to change in 1996, when 12 Danube riparian states agreed to set up the Trans- National Monitoring Network, a compilation of basic data on the water quality of the entire Danube and its tributaries. To implement the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), however, a more holistic compilation of river basin data is needed. Especially biological data, data on priority substances and data required for drawing up the national river basin management plans and the supranational plan have been found to be incomplete.
The first step towards data completion was taken in 2001, when the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) launched the first Joint Danube Survey (JDS 1). An international expert team navigated the Danube from its source 2,600 km downstream to the Black Sea and collected valuable data material.
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