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HS5.5 Media

Assessment and interpretation of state and trends in water quality
Convener: Martina Flörke  | Co-Conveners: Chantal Gascuel-Odoux , Philip Jordan , Per-Erik Mellander , Michelle van Vliet , Rémi Dupas , Ilona Bärlund , Nynke Hofstra 
 / Mon, 09 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Mon, 09 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Global and regional water management is facing major challenges to reach targeted goals in water quality. Globally major socio-economic developments are triggering a new water quality challenge affecting developing and transition countries in particular. It can be seen that water pollution is increasing due to population growth and because of the progress being made in expanding public water supplies, but failing to adequately treat the new wastewater flows they generate. Regionally a challenge is the diffuse transfer and impact of land to water pollutants which is co-dependent on weather patterns including the frequency and magnitude of storm events and the periodicity of drought events. Influences of temporal variability of rainfall and temperature, together with land modifications and time lags all affects hydrological and biogeochemical processes involved in pollutant mobilization and transfer from land to water.
Increasing loadings of pollutants, changing weather patterns and streamflow variability are likely to lead to water quality degradation posing a risk to human and ecosystem health, food security, and the economy. Following the Millennium Development Goals, the Member States of the United Nations are currently developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with one dedicated water goal and a target addressing water quality (SDG6). In order to monitor progress in reaching the goals set, a monitoring system and indicators are required. Under these variable conditions we are trying to find base lines, trends, expectations and targets of water quality in order to review existing pollution measures or develop new ones to mitigate, for example, diffuse pollution from agricultural sources to water bodies. High frequency monitoring and/or long time series have improved our process-based understanding of pollutant losses to water at catchment level, but the monitored patterns in water quality due to source management could be confounded by the effect of larger climate and weather cycles.
This session focuses on global and regional water quality research and assessments concerning methods and data bases required to evaluate sustainable development measures. We invite submissions on: (i) methods to assess signals and trends of water quality, (ii) assessment of hydrological and biogeochemical processes on pollutant transfer and their relationship to climate effects, time lags and/or adaptive management changes, (iii) development of new modelling and data-driven frameworks identifying hotspots of water quality degradation posing a risk to human and ecosystem health, water and food security, and (iv) model and data based evaluations of strategies to improve water quality.