The Emission Inventory Water, a Planning Support System aimed at reducing the pollution emissions in the surface waters of Flanders, Belgium

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Esch, L. Van; Vos, Greet; Engelen, Guy
emissions; planning support systems; sewage infrastructure; surface waters
artifact description
The Emission Inventory Water-Planning Support System (EIW-PSS) enables the Flemish Environmental Agency to fulfil its day-to-day monitoring and reporting obligations regarding the pressures and impacts of point and diffuse emissions on surface waters vis-à-vis the Flemish, Belgian and European authorities. Moreover, it helps in the design, prioritization and evaluation of alternative measures to reduce water pollution. It consists of an advanced MS Excel/Visual Basic core intimately linked to an ArcGIS module. The latter is used for locating the sources of pollutants and their pathways to the surface waters at high spatial resolutions. Scenario and “what if” analysis featuring changes of a technical nature, as well as uses of space are supported. This paper discusses the aims of the newest version of the system, its generic approach to surface water pollution and its spatial component. Part of the discussion will dwell on a first case fully implemented namely the emission of heavy metals caused by the building stock. In particular, the heavy metals lead, zinc and copper released by corrosion in the outer skin of the buildings and in the plumbing systems are considered. Literature research and measuring campaigns were carried out to gather the required technical data alongside the development of the methodology and associated models. The outputs were calibrated and validated against independent data. The analytical capabilities of the new version, its explicitly geographical nature, as well as its direct usefulness for policy and planning support, were the main criteria for continuing its development aimed at the incorporation of more sectors and more pollutants.