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How effective are River Basin Management Plans in reaching the nutrient load reduction targets?

Riverine nutrient loads are among the major causes of eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. This study applied the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in three catchments flowing to the Baltic Sea, namely Vantaanjoki (Finland), Fyrisån (Sweden), and Słupia (Poland), to simulate the effectiveness of nutrient control measures included in the EU’s Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs).

Olle Olsson / Published on 27 September 2020

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Citation

Piniewski, M., Tattari, S., Koskiaho, J., Olsson, O., Djodjic, F., Giełczewski, M., Marcinkowski, P., Księżniak, M. and Okruszko, T. (2020). How effective are River Basin Management Plans in reaching the nutrient load reduction targets? Ambio 50:706-722. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01393-x

The authors also identified similar, coastal, middle-sized catchments to which conclusions from this study could be applicable. The first modelling scenario based on extrapolation of the existing trends affected the modelled nutrient loads by less than 5%. In the second scenario, measures included in RBMPs showed variable effectiveness, ranging from negligible for Słupia to 28% total P load reduction in Vantaanjoki. Adding spatially targeted measures to RBMPs (third scenario) would considerably improve their effectiveness in all three catchments for both total N and P, suggesting a need to adopt targeting more widely in the Baltic Sea countries.

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Topics and subtopics
Governance : Public policy / Water : Water resources
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