The revised European bathing water directive
: a case for interdisciplinarity?

  • Andrew Staines

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Revised Bathing Water Directive will have a major impact on the way that Competent Authorities assess water quality. It requires work in various disciplines to be streamlined into delivering the methods and approaches needed to deliver the requirements of the Directive. To achieve this, Competent Authorities will have to engage effectively with all stakeholders and embrace the principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. This does not currently happen.

This research assessed the legislative and managerial development of the revised Bathing Water Directive proposal COM 581 and developed methods and approaches to support this, through the production of an interdisciplinary Bathing Water Management Framework (BWMF). This led to the creation of biological monitoring and communication
methods that could deliver the requirements of the revised Directive.

This research showed that the revised Bathing Water Directive will require Competent Authorities to work with others and look at novel ways of gathering and communicating information required for the Directive; including biomonitoring and emerging communication technologies. This will require the UK and Europe as a whole to embrace the principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). This research has shown that interdisciplinary research can be successful in answering complex, cross-cutting issues such as how to develop a holistic overview of Bathing Waters. When compared to a monodisciplinary approach, this research has advanced in several disciplines and also created a brand new intellectual space in the form of the framework. Whilst the interdisciplinary outputs are powerful the research has also delivered the article requirements of the Directive.
Date of AwardSep 2009
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsScottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Angus Council & Catchment Tay
SupervisorDavid J. Blackwood (Supervisor)

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