Monitoring programme: ​Eutrophication
Programme topic: Inputs

SUB-PROGRAMME: Nutrient inputs from landbased sources


 

​table of contentS

Regional coordination

Purpose of monitoring

Monitoring concepts

Assessment requirements

Data providers and access

References


Regional coordination

The monitoring of this sub-programme is: fully coordinated.

  • Common monitoring guidelines: Waterborne Pollution Load Compilation (PLC) guidelines for monitoring and reporting of data.

  • Common quality assurance programme: recommendations included in the PLC Guidelines.

  • Common database: PLC database - presently being modernized by MAI CART OPER project to operationalize assessments and access via online web application.


 

Purpose of monitoring (q4K)

Follow up of progress towards:

Baltic Sea Action Plan​ (BSAP)​ ​ ​ ​Segments Eutrophication
​Ecological objectives ​​Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
Nutrient reduction scheme: Maximum Allowable Inputs (MAI) and Country-Allocated Reduction Targets (CART)​ ​
Marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) ​ ​ ​Descriptors D5 Eutrophication
​Criteria (Q5a)
5.1 Nutrient levels
Pressures and impacts (Q5c)

Nutrient and organic matter enrichment:

Inputs of fertilisers and other nitrogen and phosphorus-rich substances (e.g. from point and diffuse sources, including agriculture, aquaculture, atmospheric deposition.

Inputs of organic matter (e.g. sewers, mariculture, riverine inputs).

​Activities (Q7a, Q7b)
Land based activities/industries: industry discharges
Land based activities/industries: agricultural run-off
Land based activities/industries: municipal waste water
Uses Activities Other​
Other relevant legislation (Q8a)

Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources

Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste-water treatment

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy

Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and the Council concerning integrated pollution prevention and control


 


 

Assessment of: (Q4k)
State/Impacts

Pressures X temporal trends,
spatial distribution
Human activities
causing the pressures
X temporal trends,
spatial distribution
Effectiveness of measures X temporal trends,
spatial distribution
Scale of data aggregation for assessments: (Q10a)
HELCOM assessment unit Level 1: Baltic Sea
​HELCOM assessment unit Level 2: Subbasin
HELCOM assessment unit Level 3: Subbasins with coastal and offshore division​
HELCOM assessment unit Level 4: Subbasins with coastal WFD division
Other: HELCOM PLC Sub-division
X


 


Monitoring concepts table

Coordination Elements
Q9a (Q5c)
Parameter
Q9a (Q5c)
Method
Q9c, Q9d
QA/QC
Q9e, 9f
Frequency
Q9h, 9i
Spatial resolution
Q9g, 9i
Link to HELCOM core indicators Link to
MSFD GES characteristics

Q5b 
Spatial scope
Q4i
Monitoring started
Q4h
CPs monitoring
PLC
NTot Input level of chemical/ nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines
Other
min. 12 times a year recommended
​​~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 un-
monitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment


WFD TW
1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some un-
monitored areas

​PLC PTot​ ​Input level of chemical/ nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ​​~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment
​WFD TW ​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​PLC
Water discharge
Freshwater input rates from rivers


 

​Other
min. 12 times a year recommended
​​~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment

WFD TW
1994
Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​NH4-N ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment ​WFD TW ​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​NO2-N ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment ​WFD TW ​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​NO23-N ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment (can be reported as sum of NO2 and NO3)
​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​NO3-N ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment
​WFD TW ​​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​PO4-P ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other min. 12 times a year recommended ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment
​WFD TW ​​1994 Most of the CPs - missing only from some unmonitored areas
​​PLC ​Ntot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated ​All HELCOM Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ptot ​Input level of chemical/nutrient/pollutant from land-based sources PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated ​All HELCOM Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​PO4-P ​Input level of chemical/nutrient/pollutant from land-based sources PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated Only partially reported – often missing     
​​PLC ​NH4-N ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated Only partially reported – often missing     
​​PLC ​BOD5/7 ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated Only partially reported – often missing     
​​PLC ​FLOW ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTP), either individually or as aggregated ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ntot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Industrial plants (INDUSTRY), either individually or as aggregated ​All HELCOM Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ptot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Industrial plants (INDUSTRY), either individually or as aggregated ​All HELCOM Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​FLOW ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Industrial plants (INDUSTRY), either individually or as aggregated ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ntot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Fish farm (FISH FARM) either individually or as aggregated ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ptot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Fish farm (FISH FARM) either individually or as aggregated ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​BOD5/7 ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other Large point sources: 12
Small point sources: 2-6
Direct Fish farm (FISH FARM) either individually or as aggregated ​Only partially reported - often missing
​​PLC ​Ntot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other ​Every 6 years Loads by sources (diffuse and point sources) of ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ptot ​Input level of chemical/
nutrient/
pollutant from land-based sources
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other ​Every 6 years
Loads by sources (diffuse and point sources) of ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ntot ​Other parameter
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other ​Every 6 years Retention of ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment ​Most of the Contracting Parties
​​PLC ​Ptot ​Other parameter
PLC Water Guidelines ​​Other ​Every 6 years Retention of ~300 monitored rivers and estimated 23 unmonitored areas in the Baltic Sea catchment Most of the Contracting Parties


 


Brief description of monitoring

​​Element / parameter

​Annual nutrient loads, loads of organic matter, water discharges and river flows/ Input level of chemical/nutrient/pollutant from land-based sources (annually reported)

​​Method

Parameters have been monitored from rivers as well as from direct point sources. Inputs from unmonitored areas are estimated.

Annual total loads of nitrogen, phosphorus and their fractions are reported every year by the HELCOM Contracting Parties and compiled by the PLC Data Manager at the Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute (MK/SYKE). The data collection is based on combination of monitored data (measurements at monitoring stations close to river mouth) and estimates of unmonitored areas. Monitored data are collected on flows and concentrations and total loads calculated. The estimates of unmonitored areas are based on proportion calculations of surfaces of monitored and unmonitored areas and monitored loads. These estimates / calculations have been carried out by the Contracting Parties.

​QA/QC

No official information about the uncertainty of nutrient loads, loads of organic matter or flow data have been reported to HELCOM (PLC Data Manager). Further work on input uncertainty is required. The QA/QC procedure has been developed when modernizing the PLC database (HELCOM PLUS). There are gaps in time series of national inputs which will be corrected by the HELCOM Load Core Group.

National sampling QA/QC, coordinated HELCOM QA/QC for input calculations.

​Frequency

Annual reporting of river catchments is based on continuous flow and weekly/monthly concentration (a few time a year) concentration analysis. Sampling frequency of point sources varies from continuous to occasional sampling.

Frequency 1/year to 1/week. An overview of monitoring by the Contracting Parties in 2012 was compiled by the PLC-6 project.

​Spatial scope

​Covers most of the inputs from the drainage area divided by nine Baltic Sea sub-basins (based on the PLC division).

​Spatial resolution

Reported by country, sub-basin and river catchment. Point sources as either as aggregated by sub-basin and by country or by river catchment and as best point sources are reported individually with known location. This varies between the Contracting Parties.  


 


 

​​Element / parameter

Ntot and Ptot / Input level of chemical/nutrient/pollutant from land-based sources (reported periodically)

​​Method

For periodic assessments, the total N and total P are reported by sources, i.e. diffuse sources (agriculture, scattered dwellings, atmospheric deposition to fresh water, storm water and overflow and natural background load) and  from point sources (MWWTP, INDUSTRY and Fish farm).

Periodic nutrient loads by sources have been calculated by well-known and described methods or by using a country specific method. 

​QA/QC

No official information about the uncertainty of nutrient loads have been reported to HELCOM (PLC Data Manager). Further work on input uncertainty is required. The QA/QC procedure was developed when modernizing the PLC data base (HELCOM PLUS). There are gaps in time series of national inputs which will be corrected by HELCOM Load Core Group.

National sampling QA/QC, coordinated HELCOM QA/QC for input calculations.

​Frequency

Based on calculations and periodically carried out every six years (next assessment (PLC-6) will be based on data collected during 2012 (Gemany and Poland) and 2014 (all other Contracting Parties).

​Spatial scope

​​Covers most of the inputs from the drainage area divided by nine Baltic Sea sub-basins (based on the PLC division).

​Spatial resolution

Reported by country, sub-basin and river catchment. Point sources as either as aggregated by sub-basin and by country or by river catchment and as best individually with location. This varies between the Contracting Parties.  


 


 

​Element / parameter
Retention of nutrients (periodically) / other parameter
​Method Nutrient retention have been calculated by either well-known and described methods or by using a country specific method.
QA/QC No official information about the uncertainty of nutrient retention has been reported to HELCOM (PLC Data Manager). The QA/QC procedure was developed when modernizing the PLC data base (HELCOM PLUS). There are gaps in time series of national inputs which will be corrected by HELCOM Load Core Group.
National sampling QA/QC, coordinated HELCOM QA/QC for input calculations
Frequency Based on calculations and periodically carried out every six years (of 2012/2014 data).
Spatial scope ​Covers most of the inputs from the drainage area divided by nine Baltic Sea sub-basins (based on the PLC division).
Spatial resolution Reported by country, sub-basin and river catchment.



Assessment of natural variability (Q5e)

A description of the methodology used for normalizing input data is given in the PLC-5 report (BSEP 128), and the PLC-6 project has produced a report on statistical methods to calculate uncertainties on national datasets including methodology for filling in data gaps and missing data and development of standardized methodology for evaluating countries progress in fulfilling BSAP nutrient reduction targets.



Assessment requirements

Monitoring requirements and gaps

Monitoring is to be carried out to fulfill assessment requirements of HELCOM ecological objectives that are specified through HELCOM core indicators. The requirements on monitoring can include number of stations, the sampling frequency and replication.

​Monitoring
requirements

Data on waterborne inputs of nutrients are needed to assess the amount of nutrient input to the sea to allow for follow-up of effectiveness of implemented measures (under e.g. river basin management plans, BSAP), for the core pressure indicator on nutrient inputs as well as follow-up of progress towards the agreed BSAP country-wise nutrient reduction targets (CART).

Pressure data should also be useable for HELCOM holistic assessments (i.e. pressure index).

Regular annual reporting of waterborne nutrient inputs is needed from all the Contracting Parties in order to ensure a reliable MAI/CART follow-up scheme.

​Gaps There are gaps in data reported by the Contracting Parties to the HELCOM PLC database. PLC projects have on a case-by-case basis filled in data gaps, but this is time consuming and requires separate endorsement of the data by the countries. A description of the latest PLC dataset (for PLC-5.5) is given in chapter 1.2 in BSEP 141.


 

Targets - Adequacy for assessment of progress with targets (Art. 10) (Q6b)

This section indicates whether the programme provides suitable and sufficient data and information to enable assessment of progress towards achievement of the relevant environmental targets (using indicators identified by MS under Art. 10).

​Suitable and sufficient data? Yes
Established methods for assessment?
​Yes
Adequate capacity to perform assessments? ​Yes
​​Will the data and information collected enable the regular updating of targets? (Q6c)
Yes​​
Description of Targets (Q6d)

The BSAP nutrient reduction scheme’s maximum allowable inputs (MAI) of nutrients can be implemented by measures taken to reduce waterborne and airborne nutrient inputs. Also the effects of reductions in air emissions outside the HELCOM area (following implementation of Gothenburg Protocol) are expected to contribute to fulfillment of MAI. Annual datasets of contributions for different sources (countries and shipping) to N deposition to the Baltic, allows for follow-up of progress towards MAI and country-wise allocation of nutrient reduction (CART).

It should be noted that the MAI (which can be considered as an “environmental targets") do not include separate targets for waterborne and airborne inputs. Also the core pressure indicator on nutrient inputs combine airborne and nutrient inputs.

​Gap-filling date Targets (Q6e)

Considered adequate in 2014

​Plans for targets (Q6f) Not applicable. Targets exist.


 

 

Measures - nature of the activity and/or pressure covered by the programme (spatial distribution, frequency of activity)
How the monitoring is considered adequate to identify which activities and pressures that are causing environmental degradation and how it can help identifying new measures (Q7b)

 

​Spatial distribution/extent of activity The last periodic PLC assessment (PLC-6) assessed inputs from point sources, monitored and unmonitored areas in 2014 (2012 for DE and PL). Countries reported calculated inputs from different sources within the Baltic Sea catchment area, e.g. point sources (WWTP, industry, fish farms), diffuse (agriculture, scattered swellings, storm waters, atmospheric deposition), and natural background sources.
​Intensity of activity By assessing the contribution of different sources to the inputs as well as trends in inputs from different sources, it is possible to identify where measures have resulted in reduced inputs and where there is still potential to reduce pollution.
​Temporal changes in activity ​Data series available covering emissions and deposition since 1994
​Type of activity (within broad category f, e.g. fisheries, tourism/recreation) Municipalities, industry, agriculture, fish farms


 

Measures - Adequacy for assesssments of measures (Art. 13) (Q7e)
The monitoring supports assessment of follow up measures.

 

​​Adequate data?

​Yes

Established methods for assessment? ​Yes
​​Adequate understanding of GES? ​Yes
Adequate capacity to perform assessments? ​Yes
​​Addresses activities/pressures? ​Yes
​​Addresses effectiveness of measures? ​No
​​Gap-filling date Activities and Measures (Q7f)

Considered adequate in 2014. NOTE: Already “adequate” but can be improved. The imlpementation of the new HELCOM PLUS database is expected to improve data reporting by the Contracting Parties as well as facilitate filling in of data gaps.

 


Assessment of natural variability (Q5e)

Quantitative.


Data providers and access

​Data access point
HELCOM PLC
Data type (Q10c)
Processed data sets, Modelled data: Total inputs are estimated based on measurements, modelling is used for periodic assessments of e.g. inputs from diffuse sources
Data availability (Q10c)​