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Screening Methods for the Water Framework Directive (SWIFT-WFD)


Screening Methods for the Water Framework Directive (SWIFT-WFD)

Research Program

The underlying goal of the SWIFT-WFD project is to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The project's objective is to identify the monitoring methods in use and assess how they support the WFD implementation. It also aims to develop new screening methods which are cost-effective and ready to use.


Monitoring requirements for successfully implementing the WFD will directly depend upon available measurement techniques of demonstrated quality that can deliver reliable data at affordable costs.

The costs of wrong decisions based on erroneous data could be tremendous, which justifies efforts of the Community to ensure that data are produced according to a proper quality assurance regime.

Besides the necessary "classical" laboratory analyses, screening methodologies will play a key role in the WFD implementation, in particular for the detection of accidental pollution or the control of water bodies at risk.

Project objectives

In detail, the objectives of SWIFT-WFD are: 

  • the production of quality control tools for validating screening methods,
  • an inventory of screening methods currently used or under development for water monitoring,
  • the comparison of screening test methods for chemical and biological quality elements through laboratory-based (tank experiments) and/or field interlaboratory studies,
  • a socio-economic assessment of the potential application of promising screening methods in the context of the WFD implementation.

In parallel, the project will consider the development of new "low-cost", innovative screening techniques (both chemical and biological procedures), which will also be validated using interlaboratory testing and comparison with laboratory-based methods.

The exchange of knowledge, transfer of technologies and training related to water monitoring will, additionally, represent a key issue for ensuring the comparability of data produced by screening methods.

SWIFT Annual Meeting 2005

The SWIFT Annual Meeting 2005 took place 5-7 December 2005 in Berlin.


The first annual workshop of the SWIFT-WFD project was held on 7-8 March 2005 in Brussels. The aim of this workshop was to discuss the monitoring needs outlined by the WFD and to show how the SWIFT-WFD project is seeking to find ways to comply with WFD requirements.

Ecologic in SWIFT-WFD

Ecologic`s part in this project is to integrate the project innovation and technical findings into the following aspects of the WFD implementation:

  • the EU Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the WFD and other relevant EU policy developments,
  • national implementation, and
  • the local level (including information and public participation).

In other words, Ecologic has to ensure that the project results are properly communicated to policy end users on all levels. As part of this mission Ecologic conducted a national workshop which aimed at demonstrating the potential use of Emerging Tools under SWIFT-WFD. The workshop was held in Braunschweig on 1-2 December 2005.

SWIFT Policy Briefs

Ecologic regularly publishes SWIFT Policy Briefs that aim at bringing SWIFT partners up to date with relevant policy developments and news on the implementation of the WFD.

Further information

SWIFT-WFD is a EU R&D Project (SSPI-CT-2003-502492) funded under the 6th Framework Programme Priority 8.1 "Policy Oriented Research".


More content from this project

LGC, United Kingdom
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Rijkswaterstaat (RIZA), Netherlands
Eduard Interwies
Thomas Dworak
Stefanie Wurm
Cornelius Laaser
Project ID
Water, Monitoring, Water Framework Directive, water quality, quality control