The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is to host an international eConference bringing together Europe’s leading experts in the field of aquatic ecosystems and water resources management.

More than 200 delegates are expected to take part in the three-day event which is being held as part of the MARS Project – Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stresses – and will consider the future of water management in Europe under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) beyond 2027.

Lake scene

MARS logo

The eConference, which takes place from 19 to 21 September 2017 includes scientists who will address the following key themes and topics:

  • Monitoring & Assessment Systems – The Good, The Bad and the Innovative,
  • Programmes of Measures – How do we Deal with Multiple Stressors?
  • And, The Policy Mix – Can we get Better Integration?

Speakers from across Europe will be taking part by leading presentations and discussion on issues regarding the above themes and topics. These include Dr Lidija Globevnik from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, talking about the stressors impacting freshwaters in Europe and Dr Victor Beumer from Deltares, Netherlands, who will present on the implementation of nature-based solutions to supply multiple benefits in water management.

Programme for the conference: PDF icon MARS_eConference_Future of Water Management in Europe_2ndCircular_final.pdf

Professor Laurence Carvalho, the eConference organiser, and a freshwater ecologist at CEH who specialises in the monitoring and assessment of freshwaters, will give a presentation during the first session entitled ‘Innovation in Monitoring – Satellites, Citizens and Sequences.’

Professor Carvalho said, “The aim of this eConference is to bring together leading experts in river basin management concerned with constructive and practical ideas on how we can more effectively implement the Water Framework Directive, due for review in 2019-20.

“It is over 15 years since the EU Directive was formerly adopted and in that time Europe has changed with new pressures being recognised. This includes impacts linked to climate change – and associated flood and drought risks – as well as the rise of invasive species and a broad range of emerging pollutants. At the same time new perspectives on environmental management have developed, including payment for ecosystem services, nature-based solutions and circular economies.

“Given these changes in pressures and policy approaches this eConference aims to gather scientific opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of current WFD implementation, innovation in monitoring and management and best practice in policy implementation.”

Invertebrate sampling at Loch Leven

Dr Ellie Mackay, a co-organiser at CEH said “We hope, through the eConference, the exchange of opinion will provide helpful recommendations for the forthcoming review of the Directive and practices to better manage water resources in Europe thereafter.”

The presentations are being recorded and will be available on the conference website for a year afterwards. A synthesis of the eConference will also be written up as a science-policy opinion article.

Attendees can register for free and will be able to pose questions to panel discussions and will be asked to complete a survey at the end of the eConference to give their views on future options.

To register for the eConference, please email Emma Brodie quoting 'MARS eConference' in the subject line. You will then receive a registration email detailing how to join the eConference.

Additional information

For more information about the MARS Project visit the website.

You can find out more about the EU Water Framework Directive here.

More information on the eConference is available from the CEH events pages.

Staff page of Professor Laurence Carvalho, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Staff page of Dr Ellie Mackay, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology