Societal applications by others: Who are using our models?

The models are used by a diverse set of stakeholders. We have disseminated the outcomes of our modelling efforts in 100+ peer-reviewed publications that have been cited 5000+ times. In addition, the simplified versions of the models are incorporated in assignments of several BSc/MSc/PhD courses. In addition to personal communications, a quick scan revealed over 20 documented applications by third parties, indicating that OMEGA, just as SIMPLEBOX/TREAT, is used by a diverse group of stakeholders, including science, government, consultancy and industry [Table 2-3]. In the absence of international agencies willing to embed generic effect models in the same way as SIMPLEBOX/TREAT is hosted, we have focused our implementation efforts for OMEGA to the Netherlands. Over the years, consecutive versions 1.0 to 7.0 were made available to managers and consultants involved in water and sediment quality [Durand-Huiting 2001, Durand-Huiting 2004]. Some parts such as the estimation of affected species have been implemented in Dutch legislation on sediment and soil pollution [VROM 2007, Hin et al. 2010, Knoben and Snijders 2010]. Recently, similar algorithms have been made available by others in user-friendly tools, specifically for water and sediment [Verschoor et al. 2017, Posthuma et al., 2019]. From applications across scientific, regulatory, advisory and industrial stakeholders, we learned that users prefer to implement a selection of our equations in their own software rather than using the full tools provided. So, we ourselves abandoned the time-consuming development of official versions with a limited set of options. Instead, we offer users to 1) assist with implementation of (updated) equations in their own tools or 2) do the calculations for them. Unofficial versions of OMEGA that we use for our own projects, however, are still available to others on request.

Table 2. Application of OMEGA by others in the Netherlands (examples).

  1. Klinge M. 2000. Sediment pollution and feasibility of ecological references. Werkrapport, Hoogheemraadschap van Uitwaterende Sluizen, NL.
  2. Balster J. 2003. De Gamerensche Waard: Effects of toxic substances on macrofauna using OMEGA. Werkdocument, Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment RIZA, Lelystad, NL.
  3. De Lange HJ et al. 2005. Carrying capacity for birds and fish in the river district. Report 2005.002, Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment RIZA, Lelystad, NL.
  4. Van den Heuvel-Greve JM et al. 2005. Ecoassays: an exploratory study on the possible application of ecoassays in the context of the Water Framework Directive. Report RIKZ/2005.019, Rijkswaterstaat, The Hague, NL.
  5. De Lange HJ, Van den Brink NW. 2006. Literature review of available techniques to characterize marine and estuarine food webs. Report 1372, ISSN 1566-7197, Alterra, Wageningen, NL.
  6. Wijdeveld AJ. 2007. Toxic Stress: the Development and use of the OMEGA modelling framework in a case study. FLOODsite (Contract No: GOCE-CT-2004-505420), FP6 EU, Brussels.
  7. Witteveen and Bos. 2008. Soil quality inventory former landfill Brouwerschapweg Ten Boer. Report GN126-19-dijc-004, Deventer, NL.
  8. Wijdeveld AJ et al. 2017. Predicting the impact of seasonal fluctuations on the potential ecotoxicological risk of multiple contaminants in the River Scheldt discharge into the Western Scheldt estuary. Catena 149: 131-139.
  9. Chrzanowski C. 2018. Monitoring and evaluation of nature-friendly banks of the Meuse. Deltares, Utrecht, NL.
  10. Foekema EM et al. 2012. Toxic concentrations in fish early life stages peak at a critical moment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 1381-1390.
  11. Foekema EM et al. 2016. Maternally transferred dioxin‐like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 35: 241-6. …

Table 3. Application of OMEGA by others in the Netherlands (examples).

  1. Laender FD, et al. 2009. Incorporating ecological data and associated uncertainty in bioaccumulation modeling: methodology development and case study. Environmental Science and Technology 43: 2620-6.
  2. Rico A et al. 2012. ERA-AQUA version 2.0: A decision support system for the Environmental Risk Assessment of veterinary medicines applied in pond Aquaculture. Alterra Report 2320, Wageningen.
  3. Taffi M et al. 2015. Bioaccumulation modelling and sensitivity analysis for discovering key players in contaminated food webs: the case study of PCBs in the Adriatic Sea. Ecological Modelling 306: 205-15.
  4. Takaki et al. 2015. Assessment and improvement of biotransfer models to cow’s milk and beef used in exposure assessment tools for organic pollutants. Chemosphere 138: 390-7.
  5. Ciffroy P et al., 2016. Modelling the exposure to chemicals for risk assessment: a comprehensive library of multimedia and PBPK models … –the MERLIN-Expo tool. Science of The Total Environment 568: 770-84.
  6. Zhang Z et al. 2012. Mercury bioaccumulation and prediction in terrestrial insects from soil in Huludao city, Northeast China. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 89: 107-12.
  7. Chen WY et al. 2017. Life cycle toxicity assessment of earthworms exposed to cadmium-contaminated soils. Ecotoxicology 26: 360-9 …
  8. Giulivo M, et al. 2018. Ecological and human exposure assessment to PBDEs in Adige River. Environmental Research 164: 229-40.
  9. Li JY et al. 2018. Equilibrium sampling informs tissue residue and sediment remediation for pyrethroid insecticides in mariculture: A laboratory demonstration. Science of the Total Environment 616: 639-46.
  10. Øverjordet IB et al. 2018. Toxicokinetics of crude oil components in Arctic copepods. Environmental Science and Technology 52: 9899-907 …