WP2 - Stream Typology and Reference Site Criteria

Workpackage-leader: KU


The objective is to define a simple and operative classification system for streams (typology) e.g. ecoregion, conditions of geology, catchment, altitude etc. for the HKH region that leads to the description of reference site criteria necessary for the assessment of environmental pressures and impacts.

The stream typology will be based on the collection of existing data applying criteria used within the EU and the HKH states. The existing (abiotic) typologies will be included in a general top down typological scheme of the HKH countries, which may be later validated (bottom up) using collected field data.

As most of the proposed assessment methods are based on the reference approach, the stream types serve as a unit for defining reference conditions. Reference criteria currently used in Europe will form the basis for adapting the HKH reference criteria. Based on these HKH specific criteria, reference streams and rivers representing near-natural states for all stream types with their associated fauna will be selected for investigation. The described reference conditions serve both as a "standard" for assessment purposes and as quality targets for certain stream types ("high ecological status").

Description of work

Task 2.1 Develop a simple and operative example of stream typology for the HKH region: Existing top-down typologies serve as a base to develop a HKH-specific typology. As it is not part of the ASSESS-HKH research activity to describe a complete HKH stream typology in detail, an operative example that is representative for the HKH region to be investigated will be developed. The herein used typology approach can easily be extended or improved for other HKH regions after the completion of ASSESS-HKH. A set of two stream types per country is currently planned for further investigation under the following workpackages.

Task 2.2 Describe criteria of reference conditions: Based on the typology developed within Task 2.1 and the definition of so-called "stream types" reference conditions will be established. Existing reference criteria as used in European countries will serve as a first base and consequently be adapted to specific HKH region conditions and requirements. A list of reference criteria will be produced and the reference conditions will exemplary be described for the steam types selected for further investigation.

Task 2.3 Select reference sites for investigation in WP4: According to Task 2.1 and 2.2 reference sites will be selected. To maintain an appropriate data base, each country will try to select a minimum of 3 (preferably 4) reference sites per stream type for further investigation.

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