Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Managing the world’s most international river: the Danube River Basin

Nike Sommerwerk A G H , Jürg Bloesch B , Momir Paunović C , Christian Baumgartner D , Markus Venohr A , Martin Schneider-Jacoby E , Thomas Hein F and Klement Tockner A G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A IGB, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Müggelseedamm 310, 12587 Berlin, Germany.

B IAD, International Association for Danube Research, Stauffacherstrasse 159, 8004 Zürich, Switzerland, and Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

C Institute for Biological Research, 142 Despota Stefana Boulevard, 11060 Belgrade, Serbia.

D Donauauen National Park GmbH, 2304 Orth an der Donau, Schloss Orth, Austria.

E EuroNatur – European Nature Heritage Fund, Konstanzer Str. 22, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany.

F University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Max-Emanuelstrasse 17, 1180 Vienna and WasserCluster Lunz, Dr Carl-Kupelwieser-Prom. 5, 3293 Lunz/See, Austria.

G Institute of Biology, Free University Berlin, Takustrasse 3, 14195 Berlin, Germany.

H Corresponding author. Email: sommerwerk@igb-berlin.de

Marine and Freshwater Research 61(7) 736-748 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF09229
Submitted: 10 September 2009  Accepted: 13 May 2010   Published: 23 July 2010

Abstract

Transboundary river-basin management is a challenging task emerging from lack of on-site expert knowledge, high administrative and socioeconomic complexity, various stakeholder interests, and difficulties enforcing international and national law. Therefore, an efficient ‘science–policy interface’ is a crucial ingredient for the successful development and implementation of adequate management strategies. The Danube River Basin (DRB) drains areas of 19 countries with different cultural, political, and environmental legacies. The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) has provided the guiding legal instrument for DRB management since 2000, supported by several multilateral agreements. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is responsible for the implementation of the WFD in the DRB. It stimulates management-oriented research and coordinates the various activities of the contracting parties and observers, including those of many NGOs and stakeholders. The development of the first DRB Management Plan in 2009 constituted a milestone of cooperation among scientific, political, and public organisations. Key stressors and pressures have been identified, a new basin-wide monitoring network has been established, and numerous conservation and restoration sites have been designated. A major challenge in DRB management will be to establish synergies among the competing interests of navigation, hydropower production, flood protection and nature conservation. This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of DRB science–policy interactions and outlines future strategies for sustainable development of the DRB as a template for transboundary river basin management.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, conservation, large river, public participation, restoration, science–policy interaction, transboundary river management.


Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Birgit Vogel for kindly providing valuable material, and her thoughtful comments on earlier versions of this paper. We are grateful to Dana Bachmann and Dr Slavko Bogdanovic for the clarification of legal terms, and to Liz Perkin for supporting the final stage of manuscript preparation. We gratefully acknowledge the guest editors for the kind invitation to contribute to this special issue. The comments of the editors and two anonymous reviewers helped to substantially improve the manuscript.


References

Arbačiauskas, K. , Semenchenko, V. , Grabowski, M. , Leuven, R. E. S. W. , and Paunović, M. , et al. (2008). Assessment of biological contamination of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in European inland waterways. Aquatic Invasions 3, 206–224.


Barbier E. B., Acreman M. C., and Knowler D. (1997). ‘Economic Valuation of Wetlands: A Guide for Policy Makers and Planners.’ (Ramsar Convention Bureau: Gland.)

Behrendt, H. , Kornmilch, M. , Opitz, D. , Schmoll, O. , and Scholz, G. (2002). Estimation of the nutrient inputs into river systems – experiences from German rivers. Regional Environmental Change 3, 107–117.
CrossRef |

Behrendt, H. , Van Gils, J. , Schreiber, H. , and Zessner, M. (2005). Point and diffuse nutrient emissions and loads in the transboundary Danube River Basin. – II. Long-term changes. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 221–247.
CAS |

Birk, S. , and Hering, D. (2009). A new procedure for comparing class boundaries of biological assessment methods: A case study from the Danube Basin. Ecological Indicators 9, 528–539.
CrossRef | CAS |

Birk, S. , and Schmedtje, U. (2005). Towards harmonization of quality classification in the Danube River Basin: Overview of biological assessment methods for running waters. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 171–196.


Bloesch J. (2003). Flood plain conservation in the Danube River Basin, the link between hydrology and limnology. Summary report on the 34th IAD-Conference, August 27–30, 2002, in Tulcea, Romania and the 21st IHP/UNESCO-Hydrological Conference, September 2–6, 2002, in Bucharest, Romania. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 147, 347–362.

Bloesch J. (2004). Danube River Basin management: What can we learn from case studies in other parts of the world? International Association for Danube Research 35, 1–7 [Editorial].

Bloesch, J. (2005). Scientific concepts and implementation of sustainable transboundary river basin management. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 7–28.


Bloesch, J. , Jones, T. , Reinartz, R. , and Striebel, B. (2006). An action plan for the conservation of sturgeons (Acipenseridae) in the Danube River Basin. Österreichische Wasser- und Abwasserwirtschaft 58, 81–88.
CrossRef |

Bogdanovic, S. (2005). Legal aspects of transboundary water management in the Danube Basin. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 59–93.


Brundic D., Barbalic D., Omerbegovic V., Schneider-Jacoby M., and Tusic Z. (2001). Alluvial wetlands preservation in Croatia – the experience of the Central Sava Basin Flood Control System. In ‘River Restoration in Europe, Practical Approaches’. (Eds H. J. Nijland and M. J. R. Cals.) pp. 109–118. (Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RIZA): Lelystad.)

Danube Declaration (2010). Danube Basin: Shared waters – joint responsibilities. Adopted at the Ministerial Meeting February 16, 2010. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/mm2010.htm [Verified 28 May 2010].

Dudgeon, D. , Arthington, A. H. , Gessner, M. O. , Kawabata, Z. I. , and Knowler, D. J. , et al. (2006). Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 81, 163–182.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Dudley N. (Ed.) (2008). ‘Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories.’ (International Union for Conservation of Nature: Gland.) Available at http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/PAPS-016.pdf [Verified 28 May 2009].

Eberhard, R. , Robinson, C. J. , Waterhouse, J. , Parslow, J. , and Hart, B. , et al. (2009). Adaptive management for water quality planning – from theory to practice. Marine and Freshwater Research 60, 1189–1195.
CrossRef | CAS |

European Commission (2000). Directive 2000/60/EC, Establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal of the European Communities, L 327, 1–71.


European Commission (2004). ‘Flood Action Programme.’ COM/2004/0472 final. Available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2004:0472:FIN:EN:PDF [Verified 28 May 2010].

European Commission (2005). Common Implementation Strategy for the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). Guidance Document No. 14. Guidance on the Intercalibration Process 2004–2006. Available at http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/jrc/jrc_eewai/library?l=/intercalibration [Verified 28 May 9 March 2010].

European Commission (2007). Directive 2007/60/EC, EU Flood Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks. Official Journal of the European Communities, L 288, 37–42.


Gâştescu P., Driga B., and Anghel C. (1983). Caracteristicile morfohidrografice ale Deltei Dunarii ca rezultate al modificarilor naturale si antropice actuale. Hidrobiologia 18, 29–42 [in Romanian].

Graf W., Csányi B., Leitner B., Paunović M., Chiriac G., et al. (2008). Macroinvertebrates. In ‘Joint Danube Survey. Final Scientific Report’. (Eds I. Liška, F. Wagner and J. Slobodník.) pp. 41–53. (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River: Vienna.)

Harremoës P. (2002). Concepts of water and wastewater treatment – novel methods and the ethical basis for decision-making. In ‘Water in Europe. The Danube River: Lifeline in Greater Europe’. (Eds P. A. Wilderer, B. Huba and T. Kötzle.) pp. 195–227. (European Academy of Sciences and Arts: Salzburg.)

Hein, T. , Preiner, S. , and Tockner, K. (2006). Limnological concepts as the basis to understanding river networks. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 557–576.


Heiskanen, A.-S. , van de Bund, W. , Cardoso, A. C. , and Nõges, P. (2004). Towards good ecological status of surface waters in Europe – interpretation and harmonisation of the concept. Water Science and Technology 49, 169–177.
CAS |

Holmes J., and Scott A. (2010). Bridging gaps between science and policy: a review of the evidence and some principles for effective action. In ‘Water System Science and Policy Interfacing’. (Ed. P. Quevauviller.) pp. 15–35. (Royal Society of Chemistry: London.)

ICPDR (2004). Flood Action Programme. Action Programme for Sustainable Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin. ICPDR, Vienna. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/floods.htm [Verified 28 May 2010].

ICPDR (2005). The Danube River Basin District Part A – Basin-wide overview. WFD Roof Report 2004. ICPDR, Vienna. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/reports.htm [Verified 28 May 2010].

ICPDR (2007a). Issue Paper on Hydromorphological Alterations in the Danube River Basin (final draft). ICPDR, Vienna. Available at www.icpdr.org/icpdr-files/14717 [Verified 28 May 2010].

ICPDR (2007b). Joint statement on guiding principles for the development of inland navigation and environmental protection in the Danube River Basin. ICPDR, Vienna. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/navigation_and_ecology_process.htm [Verified 28 May 2010].

ICPDR (2009). Danube River Basin District Management Plan. Part A – Basin-wide overview. Doc.No.1C/151, Final Version 14 December 2009. ICPDR, Vienna. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/danube_rbm_plan_ready.htm [Verified 28 May 2010].

ICPDR (2010a). The living Danube in Budapest. Danube Watch 09, 23.


ICPDR (2010b). Platina Manual on Good Practices in Sustainable Waterway Planning. Draft 4, 3.3.2010. ICPDR, Vienna.

Illies J. (Ed.) (1978). ‘Limnofauna Europaea.’ 2nd edn. (Biologie der Donau, Gustav Fischer: Stuttgart.)

Kalchev, R. , Ionica, D. , Beshkova, M. , Botev, I. , and Sandu, C. (2008). Long-term and seasonal changes of nutrients, seston and phytoplankton concentrations in the Lower Danube (Bulgarian–Romanian stretch). Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 18, 25–44.


Kettunen M., and ten Brink P. (2006). Value of biodiversity – documenting EU examples where biodiversity loss has led to the loss of ecosystem services. Final report for the European Commission. Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Brussels.

Klaver, G. , van Os, B. , Negrel, P. , and Petelet-Giraud, E. (2007). Influence of hydropower dams on the composition of the suspended and riverbank sediments in the Danube. Environmental Pollution 148, 718–728.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Kramer K. J. M., and Schneider X. (2010). Analysis of EC Framework Programme and LIFE Projects for their relevance to the Water Framework Directive. In ‘Water System Science and Policy Interfacing’. (Ed. P. Quevauviller.) pp. 101–136. (Royal Society of Chemistry: London.)

Langhammer P. F., Bakarr M. I., Bennun L. A., Brooks T. M., Clay R. P., et al. (2007). Identification and gap analysis of key biodiversity areas: targets for comprehensive protected area systems. IUCN, Gland.

Leppäkoski E., Olenin S., and Gollasch S. (Eds) (2002). ‘Invasive Aquatic Species of Europe. Distribution, Impacts and Management.’ (Springer: Dordrecht.)

Liška L., Wagner F., and Slobodnik J. (2008). Joint Danube Survey – Final Scientific Report. ICPDR, Vienna.

Maiorano, L. , Falcucci, A. , Garton, E. O. , and Boitani, L. (2007). Contribution of the Natura 2000 Network to biodiversity conservation in Italy. Conservation Biology 21, 1433–1444.
PubMed |

Moog, O. , Schmidt-Kloiber, A. , Ofenböck, T. , and Gerritsen, J. (2004). Does the ecoregion approach support the typological demands of the EU ‘Water Framework Directive’? Hydrobiologia 516, 21–33.
CrossRef |

MoU ICPDR-ICPBS (2001). Memorandum of Understanding between the International Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea (ICPBS) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) on common strategic goals. ICPDR, Vienna. Available at http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-files/8092 [Verified 28 May 2010].

Olson, D. M. , and Dinerstein, E. (1998). The global 200 – A representation approach to conserving the Earth’s most biologically valuable ecoregions. Conservation Biology 12, 502–515.
CrossRef |

Panov, V. E. , Alexandrov, B. G. , Arbačiauskas, K. , Binimelis, R. , and Copp, G. H. , et al. (2009). Assessing the risks of aquatic species invasions via European inland waterways: from concepts to environmental indicators. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 5, 110–126.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Quevauviller, P. (2006). Science policy interfacing in the context of the WFD implementation. Journal of Soils and Sediments 6, 259–261.
CrossRef |

Quevauviller P. (Ed.) (2010). ‘Water System Science and Policy Interfacing.’ (Royal Society of Chemistry: London.)

Reckendorfer, W. , Schmalfuss, R. , Baumgartner, C. , Habersack, H. , and Hohensinner, S. , et al. (2005). The Integrated River Engineering Project for the free-flowing Danube in the Austrian Alluvial Zone National Park: contradictory goals and mutual solutions. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 155, 613–630.


Reinartz R. (2002). Sturgeons in the Danube River. Biology, status, conservation. Literature study on behalf of IAD. Landesfischereiverband Bayern e.V. and Bezirk Oberpfalz, München, Regensburg.

Russev, B. (1979). Saprobiologische Übersicht der Donau. Limnologische Berichte der Jubiläumstagung Donauforschung XIX, 32–45.


Schmid R. (2004). Water quality of the Danube and its tributaries – 1995 and updated 2002. Explanations to the river quality map. State Office for Regional Water Management, Regensburg and IAD, Vienna.

Schneider, E. (2002). The ecological functions of the Danubian floodplains and their restoration with special regard to the Lower Danube. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 141, 129–149.


Schreiber, H. , Behrendt, H. , Constantinescu, L. T. , Cvitanic, I. , and Drumea, D. , et al. (2005). Point and diffuse nutrient emissions and loads in the transboundary Danube River Basin. – I. A modelling approach. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Supplement Large Rivers 158, 197–220.
CAS |

Schuyt K. (2005). ‘Freshwater and Poverty Reduction: Serving People, Saving Nature – An Economic Analysis of the Livelihood Impacts of Freshwater Conservation Initiatives.’ (WWF International: Gland.)

Schwarz U. (2007). Pilot Study: hydromorphological survey and mapping of the Drava and Mura Rivers. IAD Report prepared by FLUVIUS, Floodplain Ecology and River Basin Management, Vienna.

SedNet (2007). ‘Sediment Management – An Essential Element of River Basin Management Plans.’ (SedNet Secretariat: Apeldoorn.)

Sommerwerk N., Baumgartner C., Bloesch J., Hein T., Ostojić A., et al. (2009). The Danube River Basin. In ‘Rivers of Europe’. (Eds K. Tockner, U. Uehlinger and C. T. Robinson.) pp. 59–112. (Elsevier/Academic Press: Amsterdam.)

Speck S. (2006). Conservation and nuclear safety, financial aspects of water supply and sanitation in transboundary waters of South-Eastern Europe. Final Report for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Berlin.

Tockner, K. , and Stanford, J. (2002). Riverine floodplains: present state and future trends. Environmental Conservation 29, 308–330.
CrossRef |

Tockner, K. , Ward, J. V. , Arscott, D. P. , Edwards, P. J. , and Kollmann, J. , et al. (2003). The Tagliamento River: A model ecosystem of European importance. Aquatic Sciences 65, 239–253.
CrossRef | CAS |

Uitto, J. I. , and Duda, A. M. (2002). Management of transboundary water resources: lessons from international cooperation for conflict prevention. The Geographical Journal 168, 365–378.
CrossRef |

UNDP/GEF Danube Pollution Reduction Programme (1999). Evaluation of Wetlands and Floodplain Areas in the Danube River Basin, Final Report. WWF Danube Carpathian Programme and WWF-Auen-Institut, Vienna and Rastatt.

United Nations (1997). ‘Black Sea Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis.’ (UN Publications: New York.)

Venohr M., Hirt U., Hofmann J., Opitz D., Gericke A., et al. (2010). MONERIS Manual. Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin. Available at http://moneris.igb-berlin.de/tl_files/downloads/Handbuch_englisch.pdf [Verified 4 June 2010].

VITUKI Environmental Protection and Water Management Research Institute (2009). QUALCODanube – AQC in water analytical laboratories of the Danube River Basin. VITUKI, Budapest.

Wachs, B. (1997). Zustand und qualität der Donau. Verantwortung für einen europäischen Strom. Schriftenreihe des Bundesamtes für Wasserwirtschaft 4, 28–51.


Wong C. M., Williams C. E., Pittock J., Collier U., and Schelle P. (2007). World’s top 10 rivers at risk. WWF International, Gland.

WWF, World Wildlife Fund (1995). Economic Evaluation of Danube Floodplains. Discussion Paper. WWF International, Gland.

WWF, World Wildlife Fund (2002). Waterway transport on Europe’s lifeline, the Danube. WWF-Eigenverlag, Vienna.

WWF, World Wildlife Fund (2005). The Danube – a lifeline or just a navigation corridor? WWF Position Paper on inland navigation on the Danube. WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme and WWF Austria, Vienna.

WWF, World Wildlife Fund (2008). Assessment of the balance and management of sediments of the Danube waterway. Current status, problems and recommendations for action. Final draft. WWF, Vienna.

Zinke A. (1999). Dams and the Danube: lessons from the environmental impact. Presentation at the first World Commission of Dams Forum Meeting, March 25–26, Prague.



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Supplementary MaterialSupplementary Material (361 KB) Export Citation Cited By (20)