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6.2       Nutrients in freshwater

Significant inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus to freshwater bodies from urban areas, industry and agricultural areas can lead to eutrophication, characterised by excessive algal growth, which may result in oxygen depletion. Eutrophication can cause ecological impacts such as the loss of plant and animal species (reduction in ecological status) and have negative impacts on the use of water for human consumption and other purposes. In this next section, the concentration of phosphate and total phosphorus is expressed in mg of P/litre, while the concentration of nitrate is expressed in mg of NO3-N/litre in rivers and mg of NO3-N/litre in groundwater.

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