SIMONA Working Groups 6 and 7 and Steering Committee Meeting was held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 21. - 22.10.2019. The meeting was initiated by the Project Management of DTP2-093-2.1 SIMONA project and organized by the GI-BAS SIMONA team. The event took place at the Joint Innovation Centre of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria and continued at the Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The status of SIMONA tasks, Sampling and Laboratory protocols were discussed. Suggestions were made for preparing the Sampling protocol with a core part for the bottom and suspended sediment and Floodplain sediment sampling and laboratory analyses as annexes to the protocols. It was pointed out that the suspended sediments are more cost- and time-consuming. The proposal was welcomed for adding some metals (Cu, Zn, As, Ni, Cr) to the list of monitored HSs and the Laboratory protocol.

The meeting continued with a discussion on the status of sampling points selection criteria. They were reviewed and a priority stage was assigned to each one. Work plan, partners, sampling points and options for cooperation between partners were presented for South Danube Test Area (SDTA) and a preliminary sampling point design was agreed between the partners.

On WP7 specific objectives, issues, timing, lecturers, training sites were discussed, and the next steps were outlined









The third Budapest Water Summit was organized on 15-17 October by the Hungarian Government with the motto of “Preventing water crisis”. Discussion of the potential water crisis raised the question of its costs and possible prevention, the related consequences of mass migration due to the crisis and the possibilities of increasing investments in water industries. The summit was attended by more than 2400 participants and the guests were welcomed by the messages from Pope Francis and the UN Secretary-General. Over the three-day course as part of the program, “Digital and Nature-based Sustainable Solutions Expo” (BWS 2019 Expo) was held. Among more than 30 exhibitors from the Hungarian industry presenting their innovative solutions to managing water crises, were the two following partners of the project SIMONA: National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (HU-NARIC) and General Directorate of Water Management (HU-OVF). The lead manager of the project SIMONA – Dr Jasminka Alijagić used the opportunity of the BWS 2019 Expo to display leaflets and promote the significance of the SIMONA in cooperation with the aforementioned project partners






GI-BAS SIMONA, National Authorities, and Stakeholders WORKSHOP was held in Sofia, Bulgaria on October 10th, 2019. The Workshop was initiated and organized by the GI-BAS SIMONA team and took place at the Geological Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Experts from the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Executive Environment Agency, and the Danube Region Basin Directorate attended the Workshop.

The purpose of the event was to present the Harmonized Sampling and Laboratory Protocols and the design for the South Danube Sampling Test Area program. Suggestions and recommendations were made towards the protocols in regard to the number of sub-samples in a composite (5-10), the grain size fraction to be monitored (<63 µm), and for including TOC normalization of the analyses. The problems with suspended sediment sampling, volume, and difficulties for monitoring were recognized. The need for a preliminary geochemical study on the territory of Bulgaria was pointed out, as well as the necessity for acquiring data on sediment distribution across the DRB. Concerning the SDTA possible sampling sites for Bulgaria were proposed and discussed





Almost the whole SIMONA consortium participated at the Mid-term Project meeting in Budapest. The meeting was organised on 29-30 January 2020, by our Hungarian partner HU-SZIE with the support of the lead partner SI-GEOZS, which took place at Szent Istvan University. In the project, we already completed half of its activities, thus the scientific coordinator (Gyozo Jordan) presented the overall progress and reports on obstacles encountered not only in the past but the ones that could be expected in the future. The emphasis of the project`s status overview and discussions was on the forthcoming: 1. training activities - sampling and laboratory analysis execution with substantial sediment quality sampling and laboratory analysis protocols, and 2. evaluation procedure, which includes the methodology protocol testing, since the Evaluation Workgroup meeting was also the part of the whole meeting. Some of the WP Leaders proposed certain tasks for all partnership to complete according to given deadlines in order to resolve the financial dilemmas and the ones on training activities (sampling and laboratory analysis procedure). As we are approaching our first pretraining and training events, we expect these issues to be enlightened accordingly. 





Announcement for the participation of the SIMONA project team at the round table in Varaždin

The HGI project team of the SIMONA project will participate at the scientific and expert meeting in Varaždin, organized by Croatian Hydrological Society in cooperation with Croatian Society for drainage and irrigation, Croatian Society for water protection, Geotechnical Faculty of the University of Zagreb and the city of Varaždin. Round table will be held at the Geotechnical Faculty in Varaždin from 7th till 8th of May 2020. At the round table, HGI-team will participate with presentation titled: Project SIMONA: Transnationally harmonized sediment sampling and laboratory protocols for HSs in DRB’s surface waters proposal. The main purpose of the presentation is to introduce participants with the SIMONA project and to present the protocols for the sampling and laboratory analysis of the drainage sediment, which are harmonized with Water Frame Directive and other relevant EU regulative documents







Starting this week, SI-GEOZS and most of our partners are working from home to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, following restrictions from the national authorities. All business and field trips are delayed until further notice, including the Harmonisation Field Exercise scheduled for the end of March. The project management team is coordinating this whole situation under control and in cooperation with all the project partners and project officer. Currently, we are reconstructing the project timeline and working on finding the best solutions to prevent the project`s prolongation. Hopefully, the project field activities will begin in May or this summer at the latest. Until then, the partners are working hard from their home offices to ensure that we come readily prepared for the summer. We will keep informing you according to the project situation development




On the 9th of April, the SIMONA Evaluation WG members gathered together for an online meeting via GoToMeeting app, to comment on the newest deliverable “D 5.1.1 Qualitative review report describing the sediment evaluation methods’ current status and problems in the DTP Countries. As the discussion progressed, the PP concluded that it would be beneficial to support the report document by researching and reviewing a broader range of international, national and EU scientific and methodological literature. In this way, SIMONA will create a knowledge base on the available sediment quality evaluation (risk assessment) methods, in order to provide a solid scientific basis for the quality of evaluation protocol by answering the question “What can we learn from others and what can we adopt?” 


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