Another achievement of EcoSUSTAIN’s was accomplished in the thematic of dissemination with the scientific community. An article entitled “Addressing Gaps in Environmental Water Policy Issues across Five Mediterranean Freshwater Protected Areas” with doi:10.3390/w10121853 was successfully published by DUTH team and the support of all partners in Water Scientific Journal in December 2018.
The article is published as Open Access to facilitate the dissemination. More than 400 views and 150 downloads have been recorded since its publication by the Water website and 100 more by the team’s Research-gate profiles.
The abstract is presented here: “The increasing pressure on water resources in Europe’s broader area led member states to take measures and adopt a common legislative “umbrella” of directives to protect them.
The aim of this research is to investigate practicing deficiencies, information lacks and distances from optimal status as set by the Water Framework Directive and supporting water uses. This contributes to the improvement of the efficiency and harmonization of all environmental goals especially when management of Protected Areas is addressed. Gap analysis, an approach that reveals the distance between current and desired level, was carried out, targeting five Mediterranean hydro-ecosystems, covering three major water policy pillars “Monitoring Practices”, “Management Practices” and “Water Quality and Pressures”. Data for such analyses was collected by literature research supported by a query matrix.
The findings revealed a lack in compliance with the Water Framework Directive regarding the “Monitoring Practices” and several deficiencies in sites burdened by eutrophication and human pressures on “Water Quality and Pressures” field. As for “Management Practices”, extra effort should be applied in all hydro-ecosystems to reach the desirable state. We suggest that gap analysis, as a harmonization tool, can unify apparently different areas under the same goals to reveal the extra necessary “investment”.”