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RiBaTox: a new online portal for chemical pollution policy and management

September 10, 2018
RIBATOX

Image: RiBaTox

RiBaTox (Guide to Tools and Services for River Basin Toxicants) is a new, open-access online portal designed to support the policy and management of aquatic chemical pollution in Europe. Designed and built by the EU SOLUTIONS project, RiBaTox provides guidance on the science and management of toxic pollutants for policy makers, water managers, scientists and the interested public.

RiBaTox is designed to guide users through the methods developed and used in the SOLUTIONS project, illustrating the online tools or services which can support user needs in managing river basin toxicants, from the local to the national scale.

RiBaTox hosts descriptions of its tools and services as downloadable pdf factsheets. RiBaTox is designed as a guidance system, and its factsheets contain references to scientific publications and contact information for the developer(s) or supplier(s) of each tool or service.

factsheets

RiBaTox contains factsheets on four key areas related to chemical pollution. Image: RiBaTox website.

RiBaTox provides three options to help users find the specific tool or service to meet their needs:

(1) a user guide based on a decision tree;
(2) an overview of all factsheets, subdivided into useful categories, and;
(3) a search function, scanning all texts contained on the site.

More detail about these options can be found in the RiBaTox manual (pdf), and the full set of factsheets can also be downloaded as a reference document (pdf).

RiBaTox contains several additional applications. An abatement module provides an overview of current technical and non-technical abatement options. A diagnostic toolbox supports the assessment of ecological effects of pollutant mixtures using a decision matrix. Links to the SOLUTIONS Integrated Data Portal (IDPS) help users to identify links between toxicant exposure and epidemiological data, and to explore the potential biological effects of chemical pollution.

tools

RiBaTox guides users to three online tools which support chemical pollution policy and management. Image: RiBaTox website

Frank Sleeuwaert – developer of RiBaTox – says, “The focus of RiBaTox is problem-solution oriented, not research oriented. However, scientists who would like to be introduced to specific and new findings from the SOLUTONS project may find RiBaTox, with its factsheets and references sections, useful. In order to reach a broad user community the interface of RiBaTox was developed following consultation with end-users to require minimal learning time, with only a few steps necessary to get recommendations and factsheets.”

Kees Kramer – editor of the factsheets – adds, “All the factsheets were edited to allow maximum consistency in the use of texts that can be understood by the reader. The factsheet concept was further improved by offering guidance to methods of approach rather than a set of scientific results. The end-user will find their way in identifying what we call a ‘SOLUTIONS Tool or Service’, used by project partners to tackle certain scientific questions related to management of river basin toxicants. In this way the end-user can anticipate whether a given method could be a useful approach to solve their own challenges, whether being a researcher, policy maker or implementer of the Water Framework Directive.”

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Find out more:

RiBaTox: a Guide to Tools and Services for River Basin Toxicants

SOLUTIONS Project Website

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The EU SOLUTIONS project provides new and improved models, tools, guidelines and databases to support decisions on current and emerging pollutants and their mixtures in European surface waters. SOLUTIONS is an FP7 research project funded by the European Commission and carried out by a consortium of thirty-nine organizations including research institutes, companies and universities.

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