Title: Managing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads to Water Bodies: Characterisation and Solutions Towards Macro-Regional Integrated Nutrient Management
Editors: KARABULUT Armagan
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC91624
ISBN: 978-92-79-40072-8
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 26822
OP LB-NA-26822-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC91624
DOI: 10.2788/14322
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) from agricultural and urban areas contribute to water quality degradation in many EU and Enlargement and Integration1 countries. Not only inland water bodies, but also coastal waters and bays in surrounding European seas have been degraded by nutrient pollution. These increasing nutrient loads may cause eutrophication eventually adversely impacting the coastal or marine ecosystems by massive blooms of algae. The EU has set up a number of policy instruments for protecting inland, transitional and coastal waters. The Nitrates Directive intends to protect water resources against nitrates from agriculture sources, and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWT) aims at controlling emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus from point sources. They are both supporting the achievement of the 2015 Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives of Good Ecological Status for inland water bodies in the EU and those of Good Environmental Status of European regional seas planned by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive for 2020. This legislation is further complemented by national and international initiatives, e.g. the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), the Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (HELCOM), the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea (Bucharest Convention) and the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea (Barcelona Convention), which aim at controlling pollution from land-based sources and maritime transport. It is against this background that the Joint Research Centre organized a workshop bringing together scientists, policy makers and water managers2 to exchange experiences on the approaches presently used in Enlargement and Integration countries and in EU 28 Member States in controlling nitrogen and phosphorus emissions from human land-based activities. The Workshop intended to progress from characterisation to solutions linking European and country scales (where decision making takes place) to the watershed and farm scales (where implementation happens). It also addressed the need of a macro-regional approach to nutrient management, as nutrient pollution often goes beyond country borders and requires coordinated cross-sectoral actions to prevent solutions transferring problems from one economic sector or environmental compartment to another. The workshop was structured into three main sessions featuring a series of presentations given by scientists, policy makers and country representatives. The first session aimed at characterizing the current policies and international activities on nutrient management. In the second session the current profiles of nutrient loads to water bodies and national policies in Enlargement and Integration countries and selected EU Member States were presented. The third session concentrated on how to strengthen the knowledge base of integrated nutrient management as a support to policy making. Breakout groups were also organised to allow participants to discuss countries’ experiences and perspectives and identify recommendations for follow up actions, aim at improving integration of activities in Enlargement and Integration countries and EU Member States. This report presents the contributions from the participants (Section 2), then the discussion in the breakout sessions (Section 3), and finally the recommendations that emerged from the Workshop (Section 4).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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