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Updating the Estimate of the Sources of P in UK Waters - WT0701CSF

Description
High levels of nutrients [Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P)] can cause pollution in rivers and lakes and impact on biodiversity and water quality. The pollution of these water bodies with N and P is often a consequence of human activity. For example, N and P are applied to agricultural land to support profitable and competitive farm enterprises. However, due to a combination of land management practices, land vulnerability and climatic factors, losses of nutrients from agricultural land is a key contributor to the pollution of surface and ground waters. Agriculture, however, is not the only contributor. Urban and point sources of pollution, including effluents from sewage treatment works, also contribute to the pollution of these water bodies with N and P. However, much has been done in the last decade to reduce P losses from point sources, most significantly the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. Detergent formulations have also changed. With the challenge of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which requires all inland and coastal water bodies to reach at least "good status" by 2015, there is a need to address not only pollution from point sources but also those from diffuse sources, including those from agriculture and urban sources. Therefore, it is important to identify the proportion of P losses attributable to different sectors.

This project will update estimates of the relative magnitude of different sources of P to UK waters with the aim of informing the development of policies for tackling water pollution.

Initially, a review of methodologies used for estimating P pollution and source apportionment (which sources of P pollution are most important) of P to UK water bodies will be conducted. Using an appropriate methodology, P-loads and source apportionment for UK waters will be updated using the categories of Water Framework Directive Article 5 analyses. Sources of P pollution to be investigated will include agriculture, livestock, human and household waste, urban sources, industrial sources and background sources. A comparison of P-loads and source apportionment for England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland waters will be conducted, noting any significant differences and providing a breakdown for each. The impact of P pollution on biodiversity and water quality with specific consideration of the impacts of various P sources in different seasons and sensitivities of water bodies to eutrophication will be discussed. The updated P-loads and source apportionment for UK waters will be compared to previously published data for the UK and fellow EU countries with similar climatic conditions and land use. Finally, the updated P-loads and source apportionment for UK waters will be discussed in the context of the WFD Article 5 Risk Assessment maps and data.

By updating the estimates of the relative magnitude of different sources of P to UK waters, a more informed development of policies for tackling water pollution can take place, which will lead to improved biodiversity and water quality in UK waters.
Objective
The General Objective is to update estimates of the relative magnitude of different sources of phosphorus to waters in UK with the aim of informing the development of policies for tackling diffuse water pollution.
Objective 01 Review methodologies for P-load estimates and source apportionment. (To be completed by 31st January 2006).
Objective 02 Quantify P-loads and source apportionment for UK waters based on an appropriate methodology, using the categories of Water Framework Directive Article 5 analyses. (To be completed by 20th February 2006).
Objective 03 Compare P-loads and source apportionment for England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland waters. (To be completed by 20th February 2006).
Objective 04 Appraise the impact of P pollution on the aquatic ecosystem in the UK, with specific consideration of the impacts of various P-sources in different seasons and sensitivities of water bodies to eutrophication. (To be completed by 15th March 2006).
Objective 05 Compare the updated source apportionment figures with previously published data for the UK and fellow EU countries with similar climatic conditions and land use. (To be completed by 15th March 2006).
Objective 06 Discuss the results in the context of the WFD Article 5 Risk Assessment maps and data. (To be completed by 31st March 2006).
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final Report: Updating the estimate of the sources of phosphorus in UK waters   (738k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2006

Cost: £43,747
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Environmental Protection              
Phosphorus              
Water Framework Directive              
Water Quality              
Fields of Study
Water Quality