The Joint Danube Survey follows three main objectives:
- to collect data on parameters normally not analysed in the ongoing monitoring;
- to collect information about the water and the organisms that live there from a single source all along the river so that it is readily comparable between countries; and
- to raise awareness of the quality of the Danube waters and the efforts to protect and restore them.
The JDS will help Danube governments to implement the Danube River Protection Convention which they signed in 1994. It will also help them to meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. The Directive's goal is to ensure that rivers and lakes have "good chemical and ecological status" by 2015 - meaning that they should provide clean water as well as good conditions.
The findings of the JDS allow governments to decide about environmental measures. The expedition therefore draws the attention of high-level decision makers throughout the basin. In addition, there are other aspects of the JDS that make the effort a valuable enterprise:
- Support to the revision of Danube River Basin District Management Plan by 2015;
- Investigation of invasive alien species;
- Harmonization of sampling methods for biological quality elements used in different Danube countries;
- Identification of Danube River Basin District specific substances and newly emerging pollutants;
- Investigation of quality of sediments;
- Highlighting the link between surface water and groundwater pollution;
- Improvement of hydromorphological assessment with the view of developing a harmonized approach for the Danube;
- Studying relations between river hydromorphology with river biota;
- Specific investigations (zooplankton, microbial, isotopes, ecotoxicology, bioassays);
- Testing new methods;
- Training/learning by doing;
- Public awareness raising.
The Joint Danube Survey 2001 was carried out by the ICPDR and is the most homogenous analysis of the water quality and the ecological status of the Danube River. Over 140 chemical and biological parameters were analysed and over 40.000 laboratory results were generated.
JDS 2, the world's biggest river research expedition, was held in 2007. Its goal was to produce comparable and reliable information on water quality and pollution for the Danube and some tributaries. The ICPDR coordinated its implementation. Launched on August 14, 2007 in Germany, three JDS2 boats traveled downstream the Danube, through 10 countries, to the Danube Delta.
Joint Danube Survey, 12 August - 20 September 2001, © 2002 ICPDR, Length: 19 min. 51 sec.
ICPDR Danube Watch: New EU members bring their own sea: good news or bad?