The Water Framework Directive requires all member states to make an as-sessment of the ecological status in natural, heavely modified and artificial water bodies. The evaluation includes biological elements, physico-chemical compounds of the water and hydromorphological elements (hydrological regime, river conti-nuity, river morphology and valley). In 2009 the Central Inspectorate of Environ-ment Protection in Warsaw accepted a new method of monitoring of the hydro-morphological elements in rivers (MHR), prepared by the authors. The MHR method involves the investigation of main rivers in all Polands (4508) identified water bodies, with a total length of about 75 000 km. This required a review of the investigation methods developed by polish and other member states in 1980-2000. Many international and local regulations, the accessibility of topographic and thematic maps in different scales, as well as data bases for rivers and canals were analysed. The possibility of preparation of different methods for rivers with different catchment areas, in different landscapes, categories and substrate types were studied. The methods used for the assessment of biological elements was examined and shown not to provide adequate information for the investigation of the hy-dromorphological elements. The assessment was based on the characterization of four elements which were defined by many parameters and attributes. The result is presented as an ecological quality ratio, which fluctuate between 0 (bad status) to 1,0 (very good status). These many-sided analyses were the basis for the prepara-tion of a detailed, small labour and cost consuming method.