The ICP Waters Progamme Centre is located at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) in Oslo, Norway. ICP Waters is chaired by Heleen de Wit (NIVA) and Head of program centre is Kari Austnes (NIVA). A sub-centre of ICP Waters with special responsibility for biological data and intercalibration is located at NORCE Norwegian Research Centre.
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National Focal Centres in around 20 countries contribute data & scientific inputs and meet annually at the Task Force meetings.
Aims and objectives
The main aim of the ICP Waters Programme is to assess, on a regional basis, the degree and geographical extent of the impact of atmospheric pollution, in particular acidification, on surface waters. Detailed aims and objectives were discussed and decided at the 15th Task Force Meeting in Italy (1999). The mandate was last revised in 2019 and is given in short below:
- Assess, on a regional basis, the degree and geographical extent of the impact of atmospheric pollution on surface waters.
- Plan and conduct the technical work to assess, using monitoring data and other sources of scientific evidence:
- The degree and geographic extent of the impact of atmospheric pollution, in particular acidification, on surface water chemistry and biology – including biodiversity, and assess temporal trends and spatial patterns
- Spatial patterns and temporal trends of heavy metals, most importantly mercury, and impact of persistent organic pollutants in aquatic ecosystems, related to atmospheric pollution
- The impact of confounding factors relating to air pollution impacts on surface waters such as climate, climate change and land-use
- Promote international harmonization of monitoring practices by:
- Maintaining and updating a manual for methods and operation
- Conducting an annual chemical intercomparison and an annual biological intercalibration
- Compiling a centralized database with data quality control and assessment capabilities
- Organize the annual Task Force meeting.
- Collaborate with relevant partners inside and outside the Convention.
- Carry out other tasks assigned by the Working Group on Effects and the Executive Body and report on activities and deliverables to the Working Group on Effects.
Further details are provided in the ICP Waters manual.