Call 2016 Water Quality aims to facilitate and share new knowledge that will improve decision-making in terms of reducing the impacts from roads on European water bodies as much as possible, i.e. preserve, protect and improve water quality. The research will be linked to risk assessment and risk management in terms of when and how contaminated runoffs during building and operating the European road network should be treated.

With an overall budget of EUR 1.17 million, the programme focuses on three key challenges:

A: Risk assessment and risk management

B: Environmental impacts of de-icing chemicals

C: New and emerging chemicals, including micro-plastic

The Programme Executive Board (PEB) brings together representatives from Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The PEB has selected three projects which are all now underway.

An article on page 25-29 of this newsletter of the International Water Association, outlines the work of the three projects in this programme.

The projects are as follows:

PROPER – Road runoff pollution management and mitigation of environmental risks

The PROPER project focuses on risk management in partnership with stakeholders. The project is examining the following challenges:

  • Predict road runoff pollution loadings and concentrations
  • Assess the vulnerability of water bodies receiving road runoff
  • Assess sustainable measures for road runoff treatment during road construction and operation

Project results:

LUNT – Research the impact of roads and traffic on water quality

The LUNT is focused on the environmental impact of de-icing chemicals. The project will:

  • Review existing knowledge about applications of de-icing chemicals
  • Develop a method to assess vulnerability of water bodies to de-icing chemicals
  • Review treatment options and their capability to dilute/retard de-icing chemicals

Project results:

MicropRoOf – Micropollutants in Road Run-Off water

This project is targeting the issue of microplastics and organic micropollutants. The project will:

  • Review sources and concentrations
  • Assess behaviour and pathways in the roadside environment
  • Risk assessment in water bodies
  • Best management practices for microplastics and organic micropollutants

Project results:

[PEB Members]