Assessment of water protection targets for agricultural nutrient loading in Finland

← Takaisin
Tekijä Granlund, K.; Räike, A.; Ekholm, P.; Rankinen, K.; Rekolainen, S.
Sarja Journal of Hydrology
Päivämäärä 2005
Avainsanat Agricultural policy, agriculture, N, Nutrient loading, P
Organisaatio Suomen ympäristökeskus
Sivut s. 251-260
Volyymi Vol 304, Isusses 1-4
Kieli englanti
Saatavuus Assessment of water protection targets for agricultural nutrient loading in Finland

Temporal changes in observed P and N losses were studied in agricultural catchments in order to evaluate the achievement of water protection targets in Finland. Agriculture comprises the largest single source of nutrients into surface waters in Finland. Today, the main goal of water protection policy is controlling agricultural nutrient losses. In 1998, the Finnish Council of State issued a Decision-in-Principle on the water protection targets to 2005. By the year 2005, P and N loads from field cultivation should be reduced by 50% from the estimated loads at the beginning of the 1990s. The Finnish Agri-Environmental Programme (FAEP) forms the most important policy measure. It was implemented when Finland joined the European Union in 1995. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive will be reflected in the future environmental support scheme. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the water protection measures have decreased P and N losses in two small, intensively monitored agricultural catchments and in four coastal river basins in southern Finland. Due to high annual variability in observed losses, long-term monitoring data (years 1981–2000) of water quality were used in the analysis. Five year mean values of annual total P and total N loads were calculated for each of the catchments. The results showed that little or no reduction of loads was achieved during the first period (years 1995–1999) of the FAEP in the studied catchments. The results suggest that water protection measures for agricultural production need to be further intensified if the eutrophication tendency of Finnish lakes, rivers and coastal waters is soon to be reversed. The delayed response of water quality must be taken into account in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.