On what MARS is based on
The stressor combinations targeted by MARS are representative for large geographic areas.
The report "Status of Europe’s Waters" published by the European Environment Agency lists the most important stressors: nutrient enrichment and eutrophication, sediment and pesticide pollution, water abstraction, flash floods, bed and bank modification, the removal of riparian vegetation and the subsequent increase of water temperatures.
MARS builds on the outcome of national TEEB studies (The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity) which investigate the economic benefits of biodiversity. MARS addresses the economic aspects of a good ecological status.
Although the Water Framework Directive is the core of Europe’s water policy, there are several other directives with manifold—and sometimes contrasting—targets, addressed by MARS: urban waste water treatment (Directive 91/271/EEC), nitrate management (Directive 91/676/EEC), marine monitoring and management (Directive 2008/56/EC), habitats management (Directive 92/43/EEC), and flood risk management (Directive 2007/60/EC). All these directives are covered by the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources.