Integrated Modelling of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater system, advanced tools for the management of catchment areas and river basins in the context of global change.
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The objectives of Aquaterra are: To provide better understanding of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater system at various temporal and spatial scales.To provide the scientific basis for improved river basin management. To develop specific tools for water and soil quality monitoring. To develop integrated modelling for impact evaluation of pollutionaswell as climate and land-use changes for definition of long-termmanagement schemes. These objectives will be achieved through 10 sub-projects with BASIN investigating selected sites in five contrasting European river basins (Brévilles, Ebro, Meuse, Elbe and Danube). This sub-project concentrates on soil–groundwater–river as well as floodplain–sediment–river interactions. Building on this, BIOGEOCHEM investigates soil-filter and transport functions, the fate of pollutants in soils and sediments in order to determine impacts on water quality. This work combines with FLUX that investigates transport and turnover of inorganic and organic solids and solutes in order to evaluate effects of changes in land use. It is also linked to HYDRO that investigates impacts of climate change on the water cycle through water balance and quality parameters. A further sub-project, TREND, will yield improved understanding in soil and water quality trends by extrapolating from the past to the future and by recognising adverse trends. In collaboration with the above modules, MONITOR will develop and validate new analytical techniques by focussing on emerging compounds such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides in the environment and by providing new protocols for non-regulated pollutants. Results from the above sub projects will be used in COMPUTE to model fate and transport of pollutants at different scales. EUPOL and INTEGRATOR disseminate results to be used in future environmental EU policies andintegrate the results of the various AquaTerra sub-projects. Finally, KNOWMAN disseminates results to scientific and stakeholder communities through workshops, seminars, publishing activities and summer schools. In this manner, AquaTerra will meet the challenge of integrated modelling of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater system and will offer advanced tools for the management of catchment areas and river basins in the context of global change.