Towards sustainable management of Mediterranean river basins: policy recommendations on management aspects of temporary streams

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In 2011, the European Council stressed the significance of water quality for sustainable development in Europe and emphasized the need for better integration of the water policy objectives into the Common Agriculture Policy reform in rural areas. Since 2000, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has required the EU Member States to target good ecological status for their water bodies. However, the implementation of the Directive for the numerous Mediterranean temporary streams has been delayed indicating the need for elaboration of the tools and methods that address the special characteristics of such water bodies. This requirement has been addressed by the recently completed MIRAGE project. In the context of the recent publication of the European Commission's Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Waters, the MIRAGE-proposed framework for the characterization of the eco-hydrological dynamics and the systematic description of the measured impact for temporary rivers could bring considerable added value to the EU revision of all relevant water policies. The project recommends additions to WFD articles including an explicit definition of temporary rivers, adaptation of environmental objectives to their peculiarities and establishment of a proper method to determine the initial status and specific actions in River Basin Management Plans.

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