Eva Skarbøvik

Head of Department/Head of Research

(+47) 416 28 622
eva.skarbovik@nibio.no

Place
Ås F20

Visiting address
Fredrik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås

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Abstract

In this paper, we outline several recent insights for the priorities and challenges for future research for reducing phosphorus (P) based water eutrophication in the agricultural landscapes of Northwest Europe.We highlight that new research efforts best be focused on headwater catchments as they are a key influence on the initial chemistry of the larger river catchments, and here many management interventions are most effectively made. We emphasize the lack of understanding on how climate change will impact on P losses from agricultural landscapes. Particularly, the capability to disentangle current and future trends in P fluxes, due to climate change itself, from climate driven changes in agricultural management practices and P inputs. Knowing that, future climatic change trajectories for Western Europe will accelerate the release of the most bioavailable soil P. We stress the ambiguities created by the large varieties of sources and storage/transfer processes involved in P emissions in landscapes and the need to develop specific data treatment methods or tracers able to circumvent them, thereby helping catchment managers to identify the ultimate P sources that most contribute to diffuse P emissions. We point out that soil and aqueous P exist not only in various chemical forms, but also in range of less considered physical forms e.g., dissolved, nanoparticulate, colloidal and other particulates, all affected differently by climate as well as other environmental factors, and require bespoke mitigation measures. We support increased high resolution monitoring of headwater catchments, to not only help verify the effectiveness of catchments mitigation strategies, but also add data to further develop new water quality models (e.g., those include Fe-P interactions) which can deal with climate and land use change effects within an uncertainty framework. We finally conclude that there is a crucial need for more integrative research efforts to deal with our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms and processes associated with the identification of critical source areas, P mobilization, delivery and biogeochemical processing, as otherwise even highintensity and high-resolution research efforts will only reveal an incomplete picture of the full global impact of the terrestrial derived P on downstream aquatic and marine ecosystems.

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Soils are vital for supporting food security and other ecosystem services. Climate change can affect soil functions both directly and indirectly. Direct effects include temperature, precipitation, and moisture regime changes. Indirect effects include those that are induced by adaptations such as irrigation, crop rotation changes, and tillage practices. Although extensive knowledge is available on the direct effects, an understanding of the indirect effects of agricultural adaptation options is less complete. A review of 20 agricultural adaptation case‐studies across Europe was conducted to assess implications to soil threats and soil functions and the link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The major findings are as follows: (a) adaptation options reflect local conditions; (b) reduced soil erosion threats and increased soil organic carbon are expected, although compaction may increase in some areas; (c) most adaptation options are anticipated to improve the soil functions of food and biomass production, soil organic carbon storage, and storing, filtering, transforming, and recycling capacities, whereas possible implications for soil biodiversity are largely unknown; and (d) the linkage between soil functions and the SDGs implies improvements to SDG 2 (achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture) and SDG 13 (taking action on climate change), whereas the relationship to SDG 15 (using terrestrial ecosystems sustainably) is largely unknown. The conclusion is drawn that agricultural adaptation options, even when focused on increasing yields, have the potential to outweigh the negative direct effects of climate change on soil degradation in many European regions.

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From 2017, the Norwegian River Monitoring Programme (Elveovervåkingsprogrammet) replaced the former RID programme “Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters” which had run continuously since 1990. The present report provides the current (2017) status and long-term (1990-2017) water quality trends in the 20 rivers included in the main programme.

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2016 have been estimated in accordance with the OSPAR Commission’s principles. Nutrients, metals and organic pollutants have been monitored in rivers; discharges from point sources have been estimated from industry, sewage treatment plants and fish farming; and nutrient inputs from diffuse sources have been modelled. Trends in riverine inputs have been analysed, and threshold concentration levels investigated.

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2015 have been estimated in accordance with the OSPAR Commission’s principles. Nutrients, metals and organic pollutants have been monitored in rivers; discharges from point sources have been estimated from industry, sewage treatment plants and fish farming; and nutrient inputs from diffuse sources have been modelled. Trends in riverine inputs have been analyzed, and threshold concentration levels investigated.

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2014 have been estimated in accordance with the OSPAR Commission’s principles. Nutrients, metals and organic pollutants have been monitored in rivers; discharges from point sources have been estimated from industry, sewage treatment plants and fish farming; and nutrient inputs from diffuse sources have been modelled. Trends in riverine inputs have been analysed, and threshold concentration levels investigated.

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2012 have been estimated in accordance with the requirements of the OSPAR Commission. Water discharges in 2012 were lower than in 2011, but higher than the 30-year normal. This caused a small but overall decrease in inputs since 2011, with an exception of zinc, which increased in the overall loads due to an increase in River Glomma. The reason is presently unknown. Analyses of data since 1990 from nine main rivers in the program revealed downward trends both for nutrients and metals, with an exception of upwards trends for ammonium in one river. Fish farming continued to be a major source of nutrients, with an increase of about 15 % of phosphorus and nitrogen loads since last year. Inputs of PCBs and the pesticide lindane were, as in previous years, insignificant

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2013 have been estimated in accordance with the requirements of the OSPAR Commission. Nutrients, metals and organic pollutants have been monitored in rivers; discharges from point sources have been estimated from industry, sewage treatment plants and fish farming; and nutrient inputs from diffuse sources have been modelled. Trends in riverine inputs have been analysed. Concentrations above given threshold levels have been detected for both metals and organic pollutants in some rivers.

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Access to sufficient quantities of water of acceptable quality is a basic need for human beings and a pre-requisite to sustain and develop human welfare. In cases of limited availability, the allocation of water between different sectors can result in conflicts of interests. In this study, a modified version of the Building Block Methodology (BBM) was demonstrated for allocation of waters between different sectors. The methodology is a workshop-based tool for assessing water allocation between competing sectors that requires extensive stakeholder involvement. The tool was demonstrated for allocation of water in the Sri Ram Sagar water reservoir in the Godavari Basin, Andhra Pradesh, India. In this multipurpose reservoir, water is used for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower production. Possible water allocation regimes were developed under present hydrological conditions (normal and dry years) and under future climate change, characterized by more rain in the rainy season, more frequent droughts in the dry season and accelerated siltation of the reservoir, thus reducing the storage capacity. The feedback from the stakeholders (mainly water managers representing the various sectors) showed that the modified version of the BBM was a practical and useful tool in water allocation, which means that it may be a viable tool for application also elsewhere.

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Riverine inputs and direct discharges to Norwegian coastal waters in 2011 have been estimated in accordance with the requirements of the OSPAR Commission. Due to high water discharges in 2011, the riverine inputs of both nutrients and metals were greater than 2010. Analyses of data since 1990 from nine main rivers in the program revealed downward trends both for nutrients and metals, with an exception of upwards trends for nitrogen in one river. Fish farming continued to be a major source of nutrients and copper to coastal waters. Inputs of PCBs and the pesticide lindane were, as in previous years, insignificant.

Abstract

This report gives an overview of some characteristics of the Vansjø-Hobøl (Morsa) catchment in Southern Norway. The catchment is one of the most studied catchments in Norway in terms of water quality, partly because it has been a pilot project for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), partly because eutrophication and harmful algal blooms have been a problem in the latter years. Information from the catchment has until now been scattered in several different papers and reports, and most of these have been written in Norwegian.