A simple procedure to harmonize class boundaries of assessment systems at the pan-European scale

Buffagni, Andrea; Erba, Stefania; Furse, Mike T.. 2007 A simple procedure to harmonize class boundaries of assessment systems at the pan-European scale. Environmental Science & Policy, 10 (7-8). 709-724.

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A procedure for a large scale harmonization of assessment systems is delineated. The data collected for the two E.U. co-funded projects STAR and AQEM have been used as a benchmark dataset against which a test dataset derived from Italian standard monitoring programs was compared. A central step in the procedure adopted is the calculation of Intercalibration Common Metrics (STAR_ICMs). For both the benchmark and test datasets, six metrics were calculated, normalized and averaged to obtain an ICM index. The median values obtained for this index within each of the High and Good status classes, as defined within the STAR/AQEM dataset, were compared to the classes defined by the National method applied in Italy before WFD approval. The process of harmonization involved the re-positioning of the boundaries between Italian method quality classes until no more differences were found with the values observed in the STAR/AQEM samples. The re-setting of the Italian assessment boundaries by a step-by-step procedure lead to comparable STAR_ICM index values in the two datasets. Within this example, small refinements of the boundaries between high/good and good/moderate status were sufficient to harmonize the Italian assessment quality classes to the benchmark classification. Once a benchmark dataset is agreed among different countries, the procedure outlined can be easily applied to compare and harmonize assessment systems within and outside Europe. The main scientific and practical advantages of the procedure are listed and commented, especially facing the next steps of the Water Framework Directive Intercalibration process.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ River Ecology
ISSN: 1462-9011
Additional Keywords: WFD, Intercalibration, Metric, River, Invertebrates
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Date made live: 18 Jan 2008 13:05 +0 (UTC)

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