Introduction

In accordance with the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD2000/60/EC; European Commision, 2000), the assessment of the ecological status for all water bodies must be done as a deviation from the reference condition, and it should measured by means of the Ecological Quality Ratio (EQR). The EQR is defined as the ratio between the observed and expected values (EQR = O/E) for different quality elements (especially macroinvertebrates, diatoms, and fish). Whereas observed values are obtained from the water body assessed, expected values should be obtained from a reference dataset that represents the best condition available (both environmental and biological) attending the actual status of the environment (Stoddard et al 2006). In this way, EQR values close to one would denote a high similarity between the observed and expected values for the metric used, and therefore a high ecological status. On the other hand, EQR values close to zero will reflect some perturbation, and as a result a bad ecological status for the water body assessed. The WFD establish that ecological status gradient must be categorized in five levels: High, Good, Moderate, Poor and Bad.

Aware of this commitment, the Spanish Ministry of Environment (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino), the Ministery of Education and Science and the Department of Education of the Junta de Andalucía, gave finantial support for the research and promoted that the
University of Granada develops this web application. This first version allows the evaluation of the ecological status for Spanish water bodies based on aquatic macroinvertebrates and also calculate several metrics. This application is module based in order to facilitate that future updates incorporate the rest of water quality elements (diatoms, fish, etc.).

The aplication is a trade mark, protected by the Intelectual Property regulations (I.P.: GR-422-10)