Eco-AlpsWater

Innovative Ecological Assessment and Water Management Strategy for the Protection of Ecosystem Services in Alpine Lakes and Rivers

Project acronym: Eco-AlpsWater

Project title: Innovative Ecological Assessment and Water Management Strategy for the Protection of Ecosystem Services in Alpine Lakes and Rivers

The main aim of Eco-AlpsWater is to improve the traditional monitoring approaches (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC-EU WFD and, in Switzerland, the Water Protection Ordinance-WPO) by using advanced DNA sequencing techniques such as metabarcoding. The new approach will make use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to analyze environmental DNA in waterbodies (which allow rapid species identification at low costs, from fish to bacteria), and smart technologies (automation in data processing, data storage, information retrieval).

Project structure:
WP1: Innovative monitoring approaches - Develop and test metabarcoding protocols
WP2: Harmonization of approaches for water quality assessment - Identify gaps in the present monitoring approaches
WP3: Local pilot implementation - Implement novel metabarcoding techniques in water bodies
WP4: Next generation biomonitoring and Policy -Improve management of water resources and ecosystem services using the new, innovative approaches

Project outputs:
Metabarcoding Innovative methods
Policy on data storage and handling
Harmonization of EU-WFD and CH-WPO approaches
Implementation of traditional & NGS monitoring
Improved transnational cooperation structures
Strategic elements and policy recommendation

Synergies with other projects and networks:
DNAqua-Net - Developing new genetic tools for bioassessment of aquatic ecosystems in Europe (EU COST action CA15219; 36 EU countries + 9 extra-EU countries.
SYNAQUA - SYNergie transfrontalière pour la bio-surveillance et la préservation des écosystèmes AQUAtiques(Interreg F-CH).

Synergies with other ongoing Alpine Space projects:
HymoCARES - HydroMorphological assessment and management at basin scale for the Conservation of Alpine Rivers and related Ecosystem Services (Hydromorphology and Ecosystem Services)
SPARE – Strategic Planning for Alpine River Ecosystems (increase the awareness and knowledge level of the functions and services healthy rivers provide; improve river management practices by integrating participatory approaches)