Freshwater - Why care? (Norway)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated) expired
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This content has been archived on 21 Mar 2015, reason: A new version has been published
25 per cent of Norway's watercourses at risk
Freshwater Freshwater
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Climate and Pollution Agency
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Climate and Pollution Agency
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Last updated
03 Jan 2011
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CC By 2.5
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Climate and Pollution Agency
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 28 Jun 2016 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original
Key message

Norway’s rivers and lakes provide a rich freshwater environment, which is under less pressure from human activity than many countries in Europe. Challenges remain as many water bodies are altered due to hydropower regulation, urbanisanisation and roads.

Norway is home to one third of the world’s wild Atlantic salmon stock, but the species is threatened by the parasite gyrodactylus salaris, acidification and watercourse regulation. There is also growing pressure from aquaculture in the form of increasing numbers of sea lice and escaped farmed fish interfering with wild salmon.

Around 25per centof Norway’s water courses are at risk of not obtaining good ecological and chemical status within 2015.Long range transboundary pollution causes acidification and brings hazardous substances to lakes and rivers, most severely in the south and in the north eastern part of the country. Partly as a result of this, concentrations of mercury are so high that advice against consumption by pregnant and breastfeeding women has been issued.

Despite the introduction of numerous measures in recent years, problems with acidification and eutrophication still remain. In the future, climate change is likely to escalate the problems, particularly with regards to increased run offs and the spreading of alien species.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100