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Running waters

Integral surveillance of running waters in Switzerland

The water pollution control law of 24.1.1991 is based on the concept of comprehensive protection. To effectively fulfill their numerous functions as habitats for plants and animals and as objects of use for man, surface waters (i.e. lakes, rivers, streams, etc.) must be protected not only from pollutants, but also from all other negative influences. In accordance with this goal, it is intended to carry out an assessment of these functions and of the various pollutant sources in the form of general surveys for cantons and regions, and, in more depth, for individual rivers and streams or complete river systems. The requirements for these surveys can be met by a modular monitoring procedure. In this way, the measures recommended in 1982 on the investigation of Swiss surface waters will be considerably expanded.

Survey procedures are planned at three intensity levels in the areas of hydrology, ecomorphology, biology (banks and surrounding vegetation, higher water and marsh plants, algae, makrozoobenthos, fish), water chemistry and ecotoxicology. The multidisciplinary approach will permit an integral assessment to be made of running waters, and this in turn will enable insufficiencies to be detected and measures to be developed. The various modules will be described in separate publications. The present text discusses the principal aspects of the modular procedure makes reference to the legal basis, and discusses the aim and purpose of the proposed compendium of methods.

Urlandschaften Galterntal 2004

Photo: Pascal Vonlanthen


Fliessgewässer Konzept

Cours d'eau Concept