Lake with water lilies

The WISER project has developed methods for assessing and restoring aquatic ecosystems.

The WISER project has officially finished with the end of February 2012. For three years, 25 European research institutions representing 16 countries have addressed the assessment and management of rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters in Europe.

The majority of European lakes, rivers and coastal ecosystems are degraded. EutrophicationEnhanced primary productivity caused by nitrogen and phosphorous, organic pollution, intense catchment land use and habitat degradation affect almost all European surface waters. Ecosystem functions have been lost, and many aquatic species have disappeared from entire ecoregions.

Recent European policies target a good ecological status of lakes, rivers and coastal ecosystems. To achieve this, water bodies need to be assessed by comparison with a quality target and, if the quality is below the target, to be restored. For many aquatic ecosystem types ecological assessment systems have been developed; river basin management plansOutlines restoration goals to be achieved and the measures required outline the required restorationActivity to improve the status of degraded waters, be it waste water treatment or structural improvements measures.

A lot of questions arise out of these goals. The answers are not trivial and have been subject to the large-scale integrated project WISER. We present on this website clearly summerized key messages, evidences, implications and further information in a step-by-step overview for different water categories.

You can find all WISER results, deliverables, databases, software and more in the result section.


Special issue in the journal "Hydrobiologia"

Special issue

Title: "Water Bodies in Europe - integrative systems to assess ecological status and recovery"

It summarises the results of WISER. The special issue includes 31 peer-reviewed papers, addressing the assessment and restoration of lakes, coastal and transitional waters, and rivers in Europe. For lakes and coastal/transitional waters individual papers address new assessment systems using phytoplankton, macrophytes, benthic invertebrates and fish. For all ecosystem types the effects of restoration measures are addressed.
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WISER final conference

About 170 scientists, end users and water managers took the chance to meet at the WISER final conference in Tallinn January 2012 - "Current questions in water management", listen and discuss the latest results of river basin and water management in Europe. The conference was aiming to providing a platform to present the applicability of the developed tools and approaches. The focus was be on a science-policy interface with specific sessions for in-depth scientific presentations and hands-on sessions for end users.

Read more WISER final conference, download presentations, book of abstracts and see some impressions.


WISER in a nutshell

WISER will support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) by developing tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters.


The WISER project is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 6 (Environment including Climate Change) (contract No. 226273).

WISER: "Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery"
Online: [date: 2024/07/25]
© 2024 WISER (Contract No. 226273). All rights reserved.