In the assessment of complex spatial planning projects, ecological and socio-economic impacts are fundamental to the evaluation. The measurements of the ecological impacts of spatial plans have to be integrated in a standardised way. In the present paper, two Dutch case studies are analysed and the standardised Threat-weighted Ecological Quality Area (T-EQA) measurement is applied. This measurement is developed to evaluate projects with terrestrial impacts, but has not yet been applied in water evaluations. The paper shows how the use of a common measurement tool incorporates both ecological quality and ecological threat in the criteria of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Nature 2000.
Application of this method
The measurements discussed here were derived from two cases of cost-benefit analyses: the first case involves the Markermeer, the second largest lake of the Netherlands, in a study on water quality improvement and nature restoration; with artificial island which also is the setting for a new residential area. The second case study is on water level management of the IJsselmeer, the largest lake in the country. Results from our analysis using a standardised method show the potential impacts on the spatial distribution and quality of ecosystems.