SIMONA - INTRODUCTION
SIMONA (Sediment-quality Information, Monitoring and Assessment System to support transnational cooperation for joint Danube Basin water management) is a European project under the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme (DTP), co-financed by the European Union. The SIMONA consortium has 17 full partners: 11 financed by the European Development Fund (ERDF), 4 financed by the Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA) and 2 financed by the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI). To these 12 Associated Strategic Partners (ASPs) are added, making thus a balanced and strong representation of almost the whole Danube River Basin (DRB).
River Danube (photo: Robert Šajn)
The objective of SIMONA is to offer by sediment monitoring cost efficient alternatives to conventional water monitoring for Hazardous Substances (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 proposed system is a functional composition of:
- sediment sampling protocols;
- laboratory analysis protocols;
- evaluation protocols;
- SIMONA-tool (online IT application),
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. 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 River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) due in 2021.
During the first semester, the project was successfully launched and the partners have been working hard on the preparation of project deliverables. Besides management and communication tasks, an important activity carried out in this period referred to the inventory of existing good practices and available knowledge in the project countries regarding sediment quality monitoring. The inventory, which will be materialized into a report and a training course at the Inventory workshop, which will be organized in the second project period in Vienna, will describe the current situation in project countries, international examples of good practices and will form the basis on which the sediment sampling, laboratory and evaluation protocols of SIMONA will be developed.
Successful kick-off meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia
The kick-off meeting of the SIMONA took place in Geological Survey of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The meeting was well attended; two national public authorities target value was reached. The meeting was organized by SIMONA´s lead partner, the Geological Survey of Slovenia, under the framework of SIMONA project, which is co-funded by Danube Transnational Programme.
Kick off meeting Ljubljana (photo: Jure Atanackov)
The meeting was organized with the following aims:
- To get SIMONA consortium together in person;
- To share the most important information about the project and have common overview of the upcoming task;
- To relate the project with international organizations such as ICPDR (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River), ISRBC (International Sava River Basin Commission), EUSDR (EU Strategy for the Danube Region);
- To set out the four control levels: Advisory Board (AB), Steering Committee (SCOM), Quality Assurance Management Board (QMB), Working Groups (WGs);
- To strengthen the DTP Project Capitalization Strategy.
The aim of kick-off meeting was to introduce all Work Packages in detail and to show the linkages and synergies among them.
Jasminka Alijagić (Project manager) - email@example.com
SIMONA website http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/simona