Deliverable 2.21

Abstract: Report on management options to deal with rising temperature, increasing discharge dynamics and enhanced nutrient and organic matter loads in European rivers.

This document reports a conceptual change to the website to accommodate output from the REFRESH project and summarises progress with updating the content therein. The website was originally designed under the auspices of the EU FP6 project Euro-limpacs and was launched in 2007. The objective was to summarise current knowledge on the impacts of climate change on European freshwater ecosystems, with a specific focus on highlighting climate-induced changes and how these might be integrated into monitoring programmes. The original version of the website included a large literature database documenting case studies on the climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems, together with examples of species affected by these impacts, an overview of assessment systems for the ecological quality of freshwater ecosystems (and how these were potentially affected by climate change) and a list of possible indicators to detect the effects of climate change in lakes, rivers and wetlands. The target audience for the website was the educated public, water managers, conservation agencies  and scientists working in related areas. The page was used frequently and back-linked to a large number of other websites resulting in a google page rank of 5.

However, in the recent years a number of weaknesses with the conceptual framework of the website were identified. The all-inclusive concept of the website demands that it be frequently updated to include new case studies. There is a new and more comprehensive overview of assessment systems applicable in Europe available (e.g. WISER: The section “species affected by climate change” was inconsistent in terms of the number of species included for different regions and the taxonomic balance. Finally, the selection of indicators for assessing climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems requires an update to incorporate new research. Overall, user feedback suggested a simplification of the structure and a more stringent selection of cases to be presented.

Consequently it was decided to initiate a major update of to accommodate for these research and user driven needs and at the same time to create a platform to present results of the REFRESH project to water managers in a structured way. In particular, the website provides a repository for the information collated related to adaptation and mitigation strategies for different freshwater ecosystem types. This will result in a complete re-launch of the website. This report describes the future structure and the process required to populate the individual parts of the website.

The Web site is in the public domain and this Deliverable marks a key stage in its development and therefore will be of interest to the same target audience as the web site itself. This deliverable also incorporates work undertaken in REFRESH WP1 Task 1, which was intended to be summarised in Deliverable 1.4 (Report integrating strategies at sub-catchment and local scales for lakes, rivers and wetlands and strategies at catchment and European scales).  The combined deliverable summarises information collated on adaptation, restoration and mitigation strategies for climate change effects in rivers, lakes and wetlands. It brings together the work on evaluating the respective strategies in the River Basin Management Plans (Deliverable 1.1), a questionnaire distributed as part of the work originally intended under Deliverable 1.4 and on literature references compiled in Deliverable 2.13. Deliverable 2.21 translates all the compiled information into the searchable database on This represents a draft version of the updated website; at the end of the project there will be a final version (Deliverable 2.23).

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