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Phosphorus concentrations in rivers

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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

Generic metadata

Classification

Water Water (Primary theme)

DPSIR: State

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Contents
 

Policy issue:  Are phosphorus concentrations in our rivers falling?

Key messages

  • Concentrations of phosphorus in Europe's rivers have decreased by around one third since 1990.

Figures

Key assessment

Phosphorus concentrations have fallen in all types of rivers in Europe. The lowest values are found in countries with low populations and high levels of sewage treatment, such as Sweden and Finland, while the highest levels are found in Belgium.

Phosphorus levels share some of the same characteristics as nitrate pollution - the highest levels are found in smaller rivers, for example, while phosphorus levels are higher in rivers with catchment areas dominated by agriculture. On the other hand, phosphorus levels are also high in rivers draining areas with large urban populations.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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