Water pollution is not the only cause of disease in rivers. Often the major cause of disease is related to the presence of massive artificial devices along and within the river. So, it appears of fundamental importance to evaluate the inter-relations between the river and the surrounding land, recognising at first the importance of the riparian vegetation strip along the river.
The aims are to evaluate the role of a:
- ecological corridor: the river is an ideal habitat for animal and plant life along the riversides
- habitat for the aquatic life: the river is under ideal conditions to sustain some kind of aquatic food-chain.
- flood control: the river is structured to naturally prevent flooded lands without damaging the surrounding environment.
The FYR “Ecological chapter” provides an evaluation of river quality based upon “Riparian, Channel, and Environmental Inventory RCE” made by Petersen (Sweden, 1992) and revised into I.F.F. index by ANPA (APPA Trento Italy, 2003). The proposed items also take into account the suggestions for characterization and monitoring of a river, coming from “EU Water Framework Directive” 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament (23.10.2000).
We provide two levels of observation: the “lower level” is dedicated to primary schools (10-12 years). Here you have only 10 questions to answer, and you have a sort of gallery of photos from which you can choose the more similar one to describe your river situation.
The “upper level” is created for secondary schools (15-17 years) with 14 aspects and a more scientific approach and definition.
Please feel free to choose the lower level checklist if you prefer a simpler approach.
In every case your answers, after you have entered them in the FYR platform, provide a score as a sort of ecological index of the river. Of course such a score is valid only if you complete the whole set of items. You need to register in order to fill-in the collected data into your Book of the River!
Contact a school in your or in another country in order to comment together on the ecological conditions of your rivers. Please look for a partner under “School List” or “Notice Board”.
Links to the Glossary are provided for most significant words. Furthermore you will find some background information in the “Library”.