Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/29998
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Nutrient criteria for surface waters under the European Water Framework Directive: Current state-of-the-art, challenges and future outlook
Author(s): Poikane, Sandra
Kelly, Martyn G
Herrero, Fuensanta Salas
Pitt, Jo-Anne
Jarvie, Helen P
Claussen, Ulrich
Leujak, Wera
Solheim, Anne Lyche
Teixeira, Heliana
Phillips, Geoff
Keywords: Eutrophication
Ecological status
Phosphorus
Nitrogen
Inland waters
Coastal waters
Issue Date: 10-Dec-2019
Citation: Poikane S, Kelly MG, Herrero FS, Pitt J, Jarvie HP, Claussen U, Leujak W, Solheim AL, Teixeira H & Phillips G (2019) Nutrient criteria for surface waters under the European Water Framework Directive: Current state-of-the-art, challenges and future outlook. Science of The Total Environment, 695, Art. No.: 133888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133888
Abstract: The aim of European water policy is to achieve good ecological status in all rivers, lakes, coastal and transitional waters by 2027. Currently, more than half of water bodies are in a degraded condition and nutrient enrichment is one of the main culprits. Therefore, there is a pressing need to establish reliable and comparable nutrient criteria that are consistent with good ecological status. This paper highlights the wide range of nutrient criteria currently in use by Member States of the European Union to support good ecological status and goes on to suggest that inappropriate criteria may be hindering the improvements required in some of these. Along with a comprehensive overview of nutrient criteria, we provide a critical analysis of the threshold concentrations and approaches by which these are set. We identify four essential issues: (1) Different nutrients (nitrogen and/or phosphorus) are used for different water categories in different countries. (2) The use of different nutrient fractions (total, dissolved inorganic) and statistical summary metrics (e.g., mean, percentiles, seasonal, annual) currently hampers comparability between countries, particularly for rivers, transitional and coastal waters. (3) Wide ranges in nutrient threshold values within shared water body types, in some cases showing more than a 10-fold difference in concentrations. (4) Different approaches used to set threshold nutrient concentrations to define the boundary between “good” and “moderate” ecological status. Expert judgement-based methods resulted in significantly higher (less stringent) good-moderate threshold values compared with data-driven approaches, highlighting the importance of consistent and rigorous approaches to criteria setting. We suggest that further development of nutrient criteria should be based on relationships between ecological status and nutrient concentrations, taking into account the need for comparability between different water categories, water body types within these categories, and countries.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133888
Rights: This article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). You may copy and distribute the article, create extracts, abstracts and new works from the article, alter and revise the article, text or data mine the article and otherwise reuse the article commercially (including reuse and/or resale of the article) without permission from Elsevier. You must give appropriate credit to the original work, together with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI and a link to the Creative Commons user license above. You must indicate if any changes are made but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use of the work.
Licence URL(s): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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