Several of WEREC:s experts have during a number of years conducted research and development at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute aiming at improved assessments of discharge and transport of Phosphorus and Nitrogen in river basins, and at developing knowledge on the effects of remedial measures in terms of reduced transport to the sea. The efforts have resulted in a work structure for the planning process associated with design and implementation of actions:
- Utilisation of data and information for earlier modelling results on national or regional scales. If the assignment so requires new or updated computer modeling can be carried out for the river basin.
- Characterisation and mapping of the basin or sub-basin in terms of information on land use, soil types, husbandry, agricultural management methods, terrain, single households and water treatment plants.
- Synoptic monitoring campaigns, i.e. collecting water samples at selected sampling points in the river basin at 4-6 occasions; during high flow, medium flow and low flow. The campaigns provide a very good view of where in the area the leakage and transport of Phosphorus and Nitrogen are highest, and thereby also where remedial measures are needed and cost-effective. Modelling does not provide such knowledge, since input data for modelling are not detailed enough, and above all, does not provide accurate information on the management methods and amount of manure and fertilizers that are being and have historically been distributed to the fields by the farmers.
The methodology is used for planning of measures in large as well as small river basins. If measures are to be designed for single properties or groups of properties, or for specific locations, such an extensive basis is mostly not required. We then offer an expert evaluation regarding what type of action that is the most suitable, consulting also the owner of the property as well as the municipality water expert and the County Board.