Application of the River Habitat Survey method to assessment and classification of hydromorphological state of rivers and streams in south Poland, in accordance with requirements of the water framework directive

Sebastian R. Bielak,

Natalia Kulig,

Edyta Ścieńska


In accordance with legacy of the Water Framework Directive membership countries of the EU are obliged to reach at least good ecological state of running waters until 2015. One of the three basic components of assessing ecological state is the determination of hydromorphological conditions occurring in river channels and valleys. In this paper an effort has been taken to check usefulness for such evaluations River Habitat Survey (RHS) – British research method, which is used in Poland for classification of ecological
quality of surface waters from the view-point of their actual hydromorphological state. Research was conducted in four upland and
lowland rivers and streams of south Poland while each watercourse belonged to another abiotic type. The research released both
advantages and disadvantages of the RHS method whereas results of this evaluation pointed at need of developing this method by
adding to it, not regarded as yet, the characteristic of hydrological regime

Słowa kluczowe: hydromorphological state, River Habitat Survey, Water Framework Directive, rivers and streams