Luxembourg has a land area of 2,590 km2 and a population of about 390,000 inhabitants (1992). The main rivers in Luxembourg are the Moselle, the Sûre and the Alzette.

The Administration of the Environment is responsible for chemical surface water monitoring. The Hunting and Fishing Department is dealing with the biological inventory of running and standing waters as well as with fishery and police control. The Department collaborates with the Department of Hydraulic Management of the Technical Service of Agriculture and of the Ponts et Chaussées.

Luxembourg has reported on two river monitoring programme (R1 and R2) and one lake monitoring programme (L1). The R1 programme is a general physical-chemical assessment programme covering the main rivers of the country, totally 217 sampling sites. The sampling frequency is 1-13 times a year. The R2 programme has been operating since 1972 and is based on biological assessment of river quality (macroinvertebrates, fish and, occasionally, plankton and macrophytes). Samples are taken in the main rivers and their principal affluents, especially those with fishery interests. Sampling frequency depends on the weight of the pollution; heavily polluted rivers are controlled nearly every year, while waters with a fairly good quality are controlled every 3 to 5 years. Surface waters are classified according to the Belgian Biotic Index. The L1 lake monitoring programme covers 10 sampling sites in 3 lakes. Twentysix physical, chemical and microbiological variables are measured with a frequency of 8 times a year.

Table 3.9: National surface water monitoring programmes of Luxembourg.

No. Name Responsible institution Variables Period of operation &
Sampling Frequency (SF)
Data & reporting
Rivers and streams
R1 Biochemical monitoring programme of rivers AE 26 chemical and physical variables SF: 1-13/yr Nation-wide

217 sampling in all main rivers

R2 Biological management and control of inland waters AEF, SCP PHYTPL, ZOOPL, INVERT, MAPHYT, FISH Since 1972

Heavily polluted: 1/year

Others: every 3-5 years

Main rivers and principal affluents of the whole country Reporting:


L1 National Lake Monitoring Programme   22 chemical, physical and microbiological variables SF: 8/yr 10 sampling sites in 3 lakes  

AE: Administration de l'Environnement; AEF: Administration des Eaux et Forêts; SCP: Service Chasse et Pêche


Geographic coverage


Filed under:
Filed under: surface water
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