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Project « UWWT SIIF »: a free tool for European countries to speed up the national sanitation data availability

Project « UWWT SIIF »: a free tool for European countries to speed up the national sanitation data availability

Published April 2016

In 2012, the “SIIF” concept (Structured Implementation and Information Framework), was introduced for the first time in a communication called “Improving the delivery of benefits from EU environment measures”. To demonstrate the added value of this concept before generalizing its application to all Directives, this communication suggested to apply it to the Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment.
Since 2012, the European Commission carries out a pilot program for the implementation of the “SIIF” concept to the Urban Waste-Water Treatment (UWWT) Directive, so as to speed up the availability of information for decision makers and for the general public, through the creation of a UWWT SIIF, Shared Information and Implementation Framework for sanitation.
  • What purpose?
The speed up of availability of data and the improvement of its management by using interoperability are at the heart of the project, giving priority to the access and to a simple viewing of national data on sanitation. This way, SIIF contributes to improve the implementation of the UWWT Directive and to reduce the administrative burden, by automating and making easier this viewing and access, and permits also to meet efficiently the requirements of the INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/CE and Directive 2003/4/CE on public access to environmental information.
  • What achievement?
In 2013-2014, four Member States (Cyprus, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Ireland) participated to the development of a national SIIF, in the form of a support to the establishment of a national website dedicated to data on waste water. Then, in 2015, three other Member States joined the initiative (Croatia, Poland, and Romania).
The European Commission is working in close collaboration with the European Environment Agency (EEA) to improve the data organization and dissemination at European Union level (Urban Waste Water Treatment maps). The results of the pilot program concerning SIIF led to make available - for all Member States and interested partners – an operational SIIF platform which enables to import formatted data, to visualize data through maps, graphs and tables, to link them to other national data, to export them for other uses, and to calculate some useful tables for the reporting … In the autumn 2015, the European Commission admitted the platform as an accepted way to act as national report of UWWTD implementation (report required under the UWWT Directive article 16), one of the reports that Member States must provide every two years to the Commission.
The need to figure out the compliance also led to examine from all angles the whole rules to be applied in the framework of the UWWTD, whatever the country, under the form of a set of decision trees. This document allowed ensure a good working of the compliance calculations established in the platform and may form the basis for a potential simplification of the Directive and an improvement of its implementation.
  • What is the role of IOWater?
On behalf of European Commission, IOWater in collaboration with UBA, tested the concrete application of “SIIF” since 2013, by developing the UWWT SIIF.
In order to permit an application in any European country, IOWater developed a generic site, using open source technologies (based on software free of charge and with source code accessible), enabling a country to set it up without any problem on its own servers. Once set up, the country can thus download the final validated dataset which is reported each 2 years to the European Commission. Besides, the country can launch calculations, view results and make them accessible to any audience.
The system established makes it possible to create easily its own thematic portal on sanitation and to adjust it to one’s own needs, and benefit at the same time from a common predefined structure.
The generic site contains automatic compliance calculations, graphic viewing, individual sheets for each agglomerations, waste water treatment plants, discharge points, receiving areas, a facilitated access to data and various print and export functions.
  • Which results?
The developed system allows presenting homogeneously the sanitation situation of a country: in March 2016, it is available for 7 countries involved in the project, and the compiled source code is available for any country willing to implement on its own server. Based on a user-friendly interface including maps and graphs, it enables access to the latest information in a format compliant with standards set by Europe.
The way the system is organized enables further developments and evolutions just like an update of other existing sites.

further information:

  • Which are the visible data?
Click on the pictures to learn more
Visualisation Cartographique - UWWTD Agglomerations - Compliance map Visualisation Graphique - Agglomeration LJUBLJANA
Visualisation Graphique - National stats - Agglomeration Visualisation Graphique - Graphical network summary - Cyprus