SIMONA is a European project under the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme (DTP), co-financed by the European Union. The SIMONA partnership has 17 full partners (11 ERDF, 4 IPA and 2 ENI) and 12 associated partners (ASPs), which is a very balanced and strong representation of almost the whole Danube River Basin.
EU legislation (2013/39/EU Directive and its previous versions) prescribes sediment quality monitoring and trend analysis, in terms of taking measures to ensure that the Hazardous Substances (HSs) concentrations do not significantly increase in sediments and/or relevant biota. Although the Joint Danube Surveys (JDS 1 and 2) characterized sediment quality in the Danube several years ago and concluded that contaminated sediment was an existing problem in the Danube River Basin (DRB), the DTP Countries did not have enough institutional capacity (information, guidelines and methods) to build transnational sediment monitoring network for HS trend assessment. Sediment monitoring is expected to offer cost efficient alternatives to conventional water monitoring for HSs listed in EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Therefore, SIMONA project responds to the current demand for the effective and comparable measurements and assessments of sediment quality in surface waters in the DRB by delivering a ready-to deploy Sediment-quality Information, Monitoring and Assessment System to support transnational cooperation for joint DRB water management. The system is a functional composition of sediment (1) sampling, (2) laboratory analysis, (3) evaluation protocols and (4) SIMONA-tool (online IT application) that are applicable at local and also at strategic levels, thus actively contributes to achieving the WFD sediment quality monitoring and chemical status assessment requirements. The main result of SIMONA will be the improved, harmonized and coordinated sediment quality monitoring of water body status in the Danube River Basin. Together with experts trained in sediment quality management by SIMONA, the project will also generate international cooperation between stakeholders concerning the monitoring of HSs concentration in water, in sediments and in biota. There will be 40 experts trained at Inventory workshop, 40 experts trained at Stakeholder workshop, 30 experts trained at 1. SIMONA training event, 30 experts trained at 2. SIMONA training event and 30 experts trained at 3. SIMONA training event.
The immediate and middle term benefit of the project will be a transparent method supported by the SIMONA-tool for sediment quality monitoring that will encourage the cooperation in transnational water management. The project is the long-needed and timely response to the pressing demand of the effective use of sediment quality assessment for the next RBMPs due in 2021.
Up-to-date information can be found under www.interreg-danube.eu/simona