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A model-based assessment of non-compliance of phosphorus standards for England and Wales.

Duethmann, Doris; Anthony, Steven; Carvalho, Laurence; Spears, Bryan. 2009 A model-based assessment of non-compliance of phosphorus standards for England and Wales. International Journal of River Basin Management, 7 (3). 197-207.

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Abstract/Summary

High phosphorus concentrations causing eutrophication will prevent many lakes in England andWales from reaching good ecological status by 2015 according to the ECWater Framework Directive (WFD). The aim of this study was to estimate the percentage of lakes in England andWales that are likely to fail recently agreed WFD phosphorus standards. As measured lake phosphorus concentrations are only available for a small number of lakes a model-based approach was adopted. This involved estimating phosphorus loads from a wide range of sources including agricultural loads, sewage effluents, septic tanks, diffuse urban sources, atmospheric deposition, groundwater and bank erosion. Lake phosphorus concentrations were predicted using the Vollenweider model, and the model framework was satisfactorily tested against available observed lake concentration data. Applying the model to all lakes in England and Wales greater than 1 ha, it was estimated that under current conditions, roughly two thirds of the lakes would fail good ecological status with respect to phosphorus. According to our estimates, agricultural phosphorus loads represent the dominant source for the majority of catchments, but diffuse urban runoff also is important in many lakes and sewage effluents are the most frequent dominant source for lake catchments greater than 100 km2. Required reductions of phosphorus loads to increase the number of lakes achieving good ecological status and potential delays because of internal loading and biological resistances are briefly discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.1 - Continued long term monitoring and integrated observation of freshwater systems
CEH Sections: Watt
Additional Keywords: phosphorus, lake, WFD
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 25 Feb 2010 16:02
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8595

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