Based on the objectives of the programme „Rhine 2020“ within the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine and the coordinated implementation of substance-based EU Directives (WFD, EQS, groundwater, Marine Strategy Directive (MSD, within the scope of issues of the river basin Rhine) ) in the international river basin district (IRBD) Rhine (part A), the working group Water Quality/Emissions (WG S) is in charge of:
a. Compiling, assessing and representing data on the development of the chemical water quality in the international river basin district Rhine;
b. Regularly updating the survey of chemical water pollution;
c. Compiling the technical basis for decisions to be taken at an international level;
d. Exchange of information on measures relevant for the IRBD Rhine and reporting on their implementation, including an exchange of information on the Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine.
The president of the Working Group S regularly reports on the state of work and eventual problems to the Strategy Group SG and/or the subordinate Strategy Group SG-K.
For the Working Group S this mandate brings about the following topics of work:
I. Surveillance, updating, coordination, interpretation and representation of the physico-chemical status of surface waters (network of waters IRBD Rhine > 2,500 km²) and of the chemical and quantitative status of groundwater
• Annual updating of the Rhine Monitoring Programme Chemistry;
• Coordinate surveillance monitoring according to the EU Water Framework Directive;
taking into account recent developments (e.g. climate change, implementation of programmes of measure according to WFD, new substances, requirements based on MSD);
• Coordinate the implementation of the Rhine monitoring programme chemistry and securing the coherence of surveillance monitoring (EU WFD and MSD) including delivery and compiling of data;
• Evaluate the Rhine Monitoring Programme Chemistry (including control of plausibility) and check the coherence of the surveillance monitoring results;
• Secure comparability of monitoring results for substances for which no standardised procedures are available;
• Draft coherent representations in form of maps and tables concerning the physico-chemical water quality of the Rhine, its tributaries, the transitional and coastal waters and of the quantitative and chemical status of groundwater as well as concerning the target-performance comparison of the Rhine Monitoring Programme Chemistry;
• Draft contributions to the report on the status of surface waters and groundwater for the 3rd Management Plan 2021.
II. Impact of climate change
• Exchange of information on the impact of climate change and drafting of contributions to adjustment strategies with respect to the physico-chemical water quality;
III. Warning and Alarm Plan
Grant permanent functionality of the Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine, among others by practice alarms;
• Permanent improvement of the Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine;
• New or further development of the Rhine Alarm Model;
• Further development of the WAP Rhine into an internet-compatible system (Web-WAP) (including linking with the WAP-Moselle via R4);
• Further development of the WAP Rhine for new resp. unknown substances;
• Regular representation of the reports within the WAP.
IV. Preventive and aftercare measures in the event of exceptional pollutions
• Cooperate with the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine resp. CDNI in order to draft recommendations for reducing deliberate or accidental spills of pollutants from inland navigation;
• Exchange on pollutions determined and new substances determined via the Warning and Alarm Plan.
V. Survey of pollutions, exchange of information on the implementation of concepts of measures relevant for the IRBD Rhine (>2,500 km²) and of recommendations
• Update of the survey of physico-chemical pollution of waters in the Rhine catchment of point and diffuse origin (including thermal pollution and micro-pollutants) and of that on sediment pollution and biota, both according to EU-WFD and Rhine Convention;
• Update of the survey on the quantitative status and chemical pollution of groundwater according to EU-WFD and Rhine Convention;
• Accomplish the strategy on micro-pollutants;
• Balance of developments determined in the field of micro-pollutions and examination of joint measures.
The Working Group S is working together with six expert groups:
The Expert Group „Warning and Alarm System Rhine” (EG SAPA) is treating the following issues:
o Secure the permanent functionality of the Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine;
o Permanent improvement and updating of the Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine.
The Expert Group „Monitoring” (EG SMON) is treating the following issues
o Updating, plausibility check of data, coordination, implementation of the interpretation and of the cartographic representation, tables and coherent presentation of the Rhine Monitoring Programme Chemistry and of the surveillance monitoring according to EU-WFD (including watch list);
o Updating of the list of Rhine substances.
The Expert Group „Analytics” (EG SANA) is treating the following issues:
o Coordination in the field of non-target analytics.
o Secure comparability of monitoring results for substances for which no standardised procedures are available;
As required, the Expert Group “Contamination of biota” (EG SCON) is treating
o The plausibility check of data, coordination, interpretation and updating of the Rhine Monitoring Programme on the Contamination of Fish
Until the end of 2016, the Expert Group “Diffuse Inputs” (EG SDIF) will
o achieve the strategy on micro-pollutants from other (diffuse) sources based on the example of pesticides.
If required, the Expert Group „Groundwater" (EG GW) works on the coherent representation in form of maps and tables of the
o Quantitative status of groundwater according to WFD
o Chemical status of groundwater according to WFD.
The Expert Group SEMI will not be reactivated before in 2018.
As of 2018, the Expert Group “Emissions” (EG SEMI) will work on the emission balance of
o pollutant inputs from point sources and diffuse sources
o nutrient inputs from point sources and diffuse sources.