2023 - Consultation on Nutrients in freshwater in Europe (WAT003)

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Dear colleagues,  

This is an EIONET consultation for updating the indicator WAT003 – Nutrients in freshwater in Europe (previously CSI020).

WAT003 measures the average nitrate and phosphate concentrations in rivers, the total phosphorus concentration in lakes and the nitrate concentration in groundwater. The indicator assesses the development of average concentrations in Europe (EU-27 and the EEA member and cooperating countries). This is the regular and annually updated nutrients indicator. Eionet has also recently been consulted on the 8th EAP headline indicator “Nitrate in groundwater”.

The WAT003 indicator has been updated to include the latest data from the 2022 WISE SoE data call, thus adding an additional year (2021) to the time series. The indicator include two time series, the longer (starting 1992) includes fewer monitoring sites than the shorter one (starting in 2000). The source database is “Waterbase - Water Quality ICM” (WISE-6) published on 7th July 2023 at the EEA Datahub.

Background information on the methodological implementation is provided under the Supporting Information sections of the draft indicator. Input data and the results of the indicator computation are also provided in excel files (See the section - Files attached to this consultation).

The updated draft version of the indicator consists of the following:

Nutrients in freshwater in Europe, WAT003:

  • Nitrate in rivers
  • Nitrate in groundwater
  • Phosphate in rivers
  • Total phosphorus in lakes

We kindly invite your comments and suggestions to this indicator. The format is that of an EEA indicator assessment, but we have set this consultation through the Forum talkback tool, as this enables us to manage comments in a structured way. Note that the indicator has not yet been through editing nor final graphical layout, so you do not need to comment on these aspects at this time. 

There are three sections:

Section 1 is the indicator assessment. This section provides assessment on the development in Europe at the EU level and status on country level.   

Section 2 is the supporting information. This section provides information on policy relevance of this indicator, data availability, the methodological aspect, uncertainties, data and information references. 

Section 3 is for general comments and questions. 

The consultations is open until 2nd September 2023. 

You will need to log in to comment. In case you have forgotten your EIONET Account credentials, you can recover them using this form: http://www.eionet.europa.eu/password-reset   

For technical support, please contact EIONET helpdesk at: helpdesk@eionet.europa.eu   

For WAT003 content related questions, please contact Jorgen Olsen Jorgen.Olsen@eea.europa.eu and Kari Austnes (ETC/BE) kari.austnes@niva.no. We look forward to receiving your comments.

Thank you in advance for your expert assistance.

Kind regards,



Files attached to this consultation:

Dashboards for data review, site based (nitrate in rivers, phosphate in rivers, total phosphorus in lakes):

Dashboards for data review, water body based (nitrate in groundwater):

(Warning: The above are draft dashboards for internal use, they may be removed or changed without prior notice. Do not link to it in publications or web sites.)


Section Comments
1 - Indicator text and figures 4
2 - Supporting information 0
3 - General comments and questions 4