Sensor technologies offer particular advantages for surveillance, early warning and process control. This work aimed to provide information about practical new sensing devices that can be used for rapid field assessment of water pollution. A questionnaire completed in 2002 gathered information and data for a catalogue of sensors and instruments that can potentially be applied to soils, sediments, surface and groundwater. Demonstrations of practical sensing technologies took place at a former metal mining site near to Sevilla in 2002, and focusing on diffuse pollution in Koblenz in 2003. These exercises have confirmed that sensors and analytical methodologies can be applied on site to determine various analytes. The instruments provided information useful to manage existing water pollution problems. Some of the scientific innovations of the newest technologies consisted of improved sensitivity, the improved relevance of assays based on biomarkers, the reduced impact on the environment and the capability to detect new contaminants. Sensor technologies were also found to be useful to detect the effects of pollutant mixtures. The portability of these instruments is advantageous for on site and in situ analyses. They will help industry and regulators to deal with existing pollution and attain good water quality.

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