Important legal notice
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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To develop reliable, cost-effective methods for assessing water quality in support of the Water Framework Directive.”

The problem

The EU Water Framework Directive seeks to integrate the management of water bodies with the improvement in water quality from upland headwaters, through river systems and lowland valleys, to estuarine and coastal waters. At present, there is a plethora of disparate sampling methods internationally and across the range of aquatic environments. This project will develop a harmonised range of robust, ‘low-cost’ approaches and protocols for the assessment of water quality across Europe to ensure the effective implementation of the Directive.

SWIFT‑WFD  Harmonising water quality sampling and screening methods


SWIFT-WFD will focus on the preparation and development of robust, reliable sampling methods and procedures for the assessment and control of water quality. It will develop a range of chemical and biological screening methods and test their efficacy through laboratory experiments and field trials. The project will focus on developing new ‘low-cost’ and innovative techniques. It will also include a series of training courses and summer schools for training water management professionals which could be continued after the completion of the project.

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project will develop robust and effective protocols for harmonised, “low-cost” water quality assessment across the EU in support of the Water Framework Directive
  • A set of guidelines will be developed to assist policy-makers and water managers – including those in small and medium-sized enterprises – adopt effective water strategies
  • The project will inform policy-makers on the potential socio-economic consequences of implementing and maintaining new monitoring programmes

Project deliverables

  • An exhaustive list of existing commercial water quality assessment methods –
    Jan 2004-Dec 2006
  • Good practice guidelines for laboratory and field screening – Dec 2005/Dec 2006
  • Summer schools and training courses for water quality professionals – Apr 2004-Dec 2006
  • Protocols for the evaluation and validation of existing and new assessment methods –
    Jan 2005-Dec 2006
  • A socio-economic assessment of the implications of introducing new assessment methods –
    Jul 2004-Dec 2006
  • Recommendations for optimising the introduction of new assessment methods – Dec 2006


  • Regularly update website, including six-monthly project newsletter – throughout project
  • Quarterly policy brief on the implications of the projects development for implementing the Water Framework Directive – 1 July 2004-31 December 2006
  • Proceeding of workshops held in December 2004, June 2005, June 2006 and December 2006
  • International project conference – November 2006
  • Key element and final project reports – December 2006

Technical information

Project acronym: SWIFT-WFD
Project’s official full title: Screening methods for Water data InFormaTion in support of the implementation of the
Water Framework Directive
Research priority: 1.5. Environmental assessment (soil, water, air, noise, including the effects of chemical substances)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 502492
Start date: 1 January 2004
Kick off meeting: Not yet available
Completion date: 31 December 2006
European Commission scientific officer: Mogens Gadeberg (

Name: Armines Ales
Abbreviated name: Armines
Address: Ecole des Mines d'Alès, 6 avenue de Clavières, F. 30319 Alès Cedex
Country: France 
Tel: +33 4 66 78 50 00
Fax: +33 4 66 78 50 92


Name: University of Portsmouth
Abbreviated name: UoP
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Ente Per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente 
Abbreviated name: ENEA
Country: Italy 

Name: Bureau de Recherche Géologique et Minière 
Abbreviated name: BRGM
Country: France         

Name: Ecologic Institut fur Internationale und Eurropaische Umweltpolitik gGmbH 
Abbreviated name: Ecologic
Country: Germany      

Name: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas 
Abbreviated name: CSIC
Country: Spain 

Name: AlControl UK Ltd 
Abbreviated name: AlControl 
Country: United Kingdom      

Name: Universitad Complutense de Madrid 
Abbreviated name: UCM
Country: Spain 

Name: Mermayde
Abbreviated name: Mermayde
Country: Netherlands 

Name: Chalmers University of Technology
Abbreviated name: Chalmers
Country: Sweden 

Name: University of Veszprèm
Abbreviated name: UV
Country: Hungary 

Name: LGC Limited
Abbreviated name: LGC
Country: United Kingdom      

Name: ACTeon
Abbreviated name: ACTeon
Country: France 

Name: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Abbreviated name: VUB
Country: Belgium 

Name: Universidade de Aveiro 
Abbreviated name: UA
Country: Portugal 

Name: Universitat de Barcelona
Abbreviated name: UB
Country: Spain 

Name: Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research
Abbreviated name: RIVO
Country: Netherlands 

Name: University of Sofia, St. Kliment Ohridski
Abbreviated name: SUCHEM
Country: Bulgaria 

Name: Technical University Vienna
Abbreviated name: TUVienna
Country: Austria 

Name: Sciences Territoires et Sociétés
Abbreviated name: STS
Country: France 

Name: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
Abbreviated name: EC-JRC-IRMM
Country: Belgium 

Name: Szent Istvan University
Abbreviated name: SZIE
Country: Hungary 

Name: Université de Pau 
Abbreviated name: UPPA
Country:  France 

Name: Universitad de Oviedo
Abbreviated name: UNIOVI
Country: Spain

Name: Lithos Geosciences
Abbreviated name: Lithos
Country: Germany 

Name: Université de Bordeaux
Abbreviated name: LPTC
Country: France 

Name: Institute for Inland Water Management and Wastewater Treatment
Abbreviated name: RIZA
Country: Netherlands 

Name: Geological Survey of Slovak Republic
Abbreviated name: GSSR
Country: Slovakia 

Name: Graz University of   Technology
Abbreviated name: AC-TUG
Country: Austria 

Name: University of Agriculture Czech
Abbreviated name: CZU Prague
Country: Czech Republic

Name: Warsaw University of Technology
Abbreviated name: WUT
Country: Poland 

Name: Associazione per lo Sviluppo della Qualita'Ambientale 
Abbreviated name: Quality Consult
Country: Italy 

Name: XPRO consulting Ltd.
Abbreviated name: XPRO
Country: Cyprus 

Name: Technische Universitat München 
Abbreviated name: TUM
Country: Germany 

Name: Secomam
Abbreviated name: Secomam
Country: France 

Name: National Institute for Research and Development for Environment Protection
Abbreviated name: ICIM
Country: Romania 

Name: Provodi Lab
Abbreviated name: Pla
Country: Czech Republic

Name: University of Latvia
Abbreviated name: UL
Country: Latvia 

Name: Latvian Environment Agency
Abbreviated name: LEA
Country: Latvia 

Name: Aquametris
Abbreviated name: Aquametris
Country: France