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Document 52021SC1001

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

SWD/2021/1001 final

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Contents

1.EVOLUTION OF PRESSURES FROM AGRICULTURE9

Agricultural area and livestock9

Use of fertilisers23

Nutrient balance28

N-discharge into the environment from agriculture31

2.WATER QUALITY32

Monitoring32

Groundwater quality40

Surface water quality …………………………………………………………………………... 58

3.NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONES107

4.COUNTRY FICHES111



TABLES

Table 1: Average livestock numbers (106) presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States (MS) for reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the two reporting periods.9

Table 2: Utilized agricultural area (1 000 ha) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).10

Table 3: Number of total cattle (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).11

Table 4: Number of dairy cattle (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).12

Table 5: Number of pigs (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).13

Table 6: Number of sheep (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).14

Table 7: Number of poultry (1 000 heads) in the 2010, 2013 and 2016, and change between years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).15

Table 8: Number of Livestock Units (1 000) in 2010, 2013 and 2016, and the change between the years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).16

Table 9: Livestock density index (LU per ha UAA) in 2010, 2013 and 2016, and the change between the years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).17

Table 10: Average annual animal manure nitrogen and mineral fertiliser nitrogen use (1 000 tons N) presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States for reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the two reporting periods.23

Table 11: Mineral fertiliser nitrogen use (1 000 kg N) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).24

Table 12: Mineral fertiliser phosphate use (1 000 kg P) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).25

Table 13: Animal manure nitrogen use (1 000 kg N) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)26

Table 14: Animal manure phosphate use (1 000 kg P) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)27

Table 15: Gross nitrogen balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha N - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha. (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)28

Table 16: Net nitrogen balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha N - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha. (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).29

Table 17: Gross phosphate balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha P - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).30

Table 18: Annual average nitrogen discharge (kton N) to the aquatic environment and relative contribution of agriculture (%), presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States for reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.31

Table 19: Number of stations and station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) of reported groundwater monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, the change (%) between the last two periods, and the annual average sampling frequency in 2016-2019.32

Table 20: Number of stations and station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) of reported fresh surface water monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, the change (%) between the last two periods, and the annual average sampling frequency in 2016 -2019.34

Table 21: Number of stations of reported saline surface water monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change (%) between the last two periods.36

Table 22: Number of stations with trends for groundwater monitoring points in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.38

Table 23: Number of stations with trends for surface water monitoring points in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.39

Table 24: Percentage of groundwater monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU 27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-2019.40

Table 25: Percentage of groundwater stations (at all depth) with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average groundwater nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.42

Table 26: Percentage of groundwater stations by classes of annual nitrate concentration, at different sampling depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019.44

Table 27: Percentage of groundwater stations with decreasing, stable or increasing trends at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-201945

Table 28: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-2019.58

Table 29: Percentage of saline surface water monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-1019.60

Table 30: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (rivers and lakes) with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average fresh surface water nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.62

Table 31: Percentage of saline surface water stations with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average saline surface water nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.64

Table 32: Percentage of surface water stations by classes of annual nitrate concentrations for different stations type and aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-201966

Table 33: Percentage of river stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.67

Table 34: Percentage of lake stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.69

Table 35: Percentage of transitional water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.71

Table 36: Percentage coastal water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.73

Table 37: Percentage of marine water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.75

Table 38: Percentage of surface water stations at different trophic status for the reporting period 2016-2019. Note that the number of underlying Member States is different per water type.77

Table 39: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.78

Table 40: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.78

Table 41: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.79

Table 42: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.79

Table 43: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water trophic status classes, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.80

Table 44: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water trophic status classes, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-201980

Table 45: Implementation of Article 3 of the Nitrates Directive in 2016-2019. In blue the MS that changed NVZ in RP7, in grey the not valid or drafted zone that are excluded from the total value. (Source: JRC)107

Table 46: Analysis of added and removed NVZ respect to the previous reporting periods. In the table only the countries that changed NVZ. See countries in blue in Table 45 (Source: JRC)108

FIGURES

Figure 1: Groundwater station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.33

Figure 2: Average annual groundwater sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.33

Figure 3: Fresh surface water station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.35

Figure 4: Annual average fresh surface water sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.35

Figure 5: Annual average saline surface water sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.37

Figure 6: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater, at all depths, in reporting period 2016-2019.41

Figure 7: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater, at all depths, in reporting period 2016-2019.43

Figure 8: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-201944

Figure 9: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-201945

Figure 10: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface waters (rivers and lakes), in reporting period 2016-2019.59

Figure 11: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface waters, in reporting period 2016-2019.61

Figure 12: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (rivers and lakes). Reporting period 2016-201963

Figure 13: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water. Reporting period 2016-201965

Figure 14: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in different surface waters, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019.66

Figure 15: Frequency diagram of the trophic status of rivers in reporting period 2016-2019.68

Figure 16: Frequency diagram of the trophic status of lakes in reporting period 2016-201970

Figure 17: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of transitional waters in reporting period 2016-2019.72

Figure 18: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of coastal waters in reporting period 2016-2019.74

Figure 19: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of marine waters in reporting period 2016-2019.76

Figure 20: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of different water types in reporting period 2016-2019.77

MAPS

Map 1: Livestock density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)18

Map 2: Bovine density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021).19

Map 3: Poultry density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)..20

Map 4: Sheep density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)..21

Map 5: Swine density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)..22

Map 6: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.46

Map 7: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.47

Map 8: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-2019.48

Map 9: Comparison between annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater for each concentration class separately. Reporting period 2016-201949

Map 10: Stations with annual average nitrate concentrations equal to or exceeding 50 mg/l in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-201950

Map 11: Maximum nitrate concentrations in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-2019..51

Map 12: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 in all stations.52

Map 13: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration below 25 mg/l in 2016-201953

Map 14: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 25 and 40 mg/l in 2016-201954

Map 15: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 40 and 50 mg/l in 2016-201955

Map 16: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration equal to or above 50 mg/l in 2016-201956

Map 17: Map of stations with no trend in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-201957

Map 18: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.81

Map 19: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019..82

Map 20: Annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (river, lake/reservoir) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019..83

Map 21: Annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (river, lake/reservoir) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.84

Map 22: Annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.85

Map 23: Annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.86

Map 24: Percentage of surface waters stations (all categories) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019..87

Map 25: Percentage of surface waters stations (all categories) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019..88

Map 26: Trophic status in surface water (all categories) for the reporting period 2016-2019..89

Map 27: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (river, lake/reservoir) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.90

Map 28: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (river, lake/reservoir) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.91

Map 29: Percentage of saline surface waters stations (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.92

Map 30: Percentage of saline surface waters stations (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019.93

Map 31: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) for the reporting period 2016-2019.94

Map 32: Comparison between annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water for each concentration class separately. Reporting period 2016-201995

Map 33: Winter average nitrate concentrations in surface water for the reporting period 2016-2019. Higher values are plotted on the top96

Map 34: Maximum nitrate concentrations in surface water for the reporting period 2016-201997

Map 35: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for all stations98

Map 36: Strong trends in winter average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-201999

Map 37: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration below 2 mg/l in 2016-2019100

Map 38: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 2 and 10 mg/l in 2016-2019101

Map 39: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 10 and 25 mg/l in 2016-2019102

Map 40: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 25 and 40 mg/l in 2016-2019103

Map 41: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 40 and 50 mg/l in 2016-2019104

Map 42: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration equal to or above 50 mg/l in 2016-2019105

Map 43: Map of stations with no trend in nitrates concentrations in surface water between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019106

Map 44: Implementation of Article 3 of the Nitrates Directive in 2016-2019109

Map 45: Analysis of added and removed NVZ respect to the previous reporting periods.110



1.EVOLUTION OF PRESSURES FROM AGRICULTURE

Agricultural area and livestock

Table 1: Average livestock numbers (106) presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States (MS) for reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the two reporting periods. In blue, the values taken from the staff working document of reporting period 2012-2015 because not available in the current reports

(*) NA: not available (no data from MS report); - : not applicable



Table 2: Utilized agricultural area (1 000 ha) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).


Table 3: Number of total cattle (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 4: Number of dairy cattle (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 5: Number of pigs (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 6: Number of sheep (1 000 heads) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2016, 2016-2019, and the change between the periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 7: Number of poultry (1 000 heads) in the 2010, 2013 and 2016, and change between years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 8: Number of Livestock Units (1 000) in 2010, 2013 and 2016, and the change between the years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Table 9: Livestock density index (LU per ha UAA) in 2010, 2013 and 2016, and the change between the years (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).



Map 1: Livestock density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)



Map 2: Bovine density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021). The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 3: Poultry density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021). The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 4: Sheep density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021). The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 5: Swine density by NUTS2 expressed as livestock units per hectare of UAA, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021). The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Use of fertilisers

Table 10: Average annual animal manure nitrogen and mineral fertiliser nitrogen use (1 000 tons N) presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States for reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the two reporting periods.

(*) NA: not available (no data from MS report); - : not applicable



Table 11: Mineral fertiliser nitrogen use (1 000 kg N) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).

(*) NA: not available



Table 12: Mineral fertiliser phosphate use (1 000 kg P) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).

(*) NA: not available



Table 13: Animal manure nitrogen use (1 000 kg N) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)

(*) NA: not available



Table 14: Animal manure phosphate use (1 000 kg P) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change between the reporting periods (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)

(*) NA: not available



Nutrient balance

Table 15: Gross nitrogen balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha N - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha. (Source: Eurostat, December 2020)

(*) NA = not available



Table 16: Net nitrogen balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha N - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha. (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).

(*) NA = not available



Table 17: Gross phosphate balance per hectare UAA (kg/ha P - UAA) in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2015-2019, and the change between the periods in kg N per ha (Source: Eurostat, December 2020).

(*) NA = not available



N-discharge into the environment from agriculture

Table 18: Annual average nitrogen discharge (kton N) to the aquatic environment and relative contribution of agriculture (%), presented in the article 10 reports of the Member States for reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


2. WATER QUALITY

Monitoring

Table 1: Number of stations and station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) of reported groundwater monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, the change (%) between the last two periods, and the annual average sampling frequency in 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 1: Groundwater station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.

Figure 2: Average annual groundwater sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.



Table 2: Number of stations and station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) of reported fresh surface water monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, the change (%) between the last two periods, and the annual average sampling frequency in 2016 -2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 3: Fresh surface water station density (stations per 1 000 km2 of land) in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.

Figure 4: Annual average fresh surface water sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.



Table 3: Number of stations of reported saline surface water monitoring of annual average nitrate measurements in reporting periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, and the change (%) between the last two periods.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 5: Annual average saline surface water sampling frequency in reporting period 2016-2019. Stations with data of average annual nitrate measurements.


Table 4: Number of stations with trends for groundwater monitoring points in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

(*) stations with trends between periods can be different



Table 5: Number of stations with trends for surface water monitoring points in the periods 2008-2011, 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

(*) stations with trends between periods can be different



Groundwater quality

Table 6: Percentage of groundwater monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU 27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-2019.



Figure 6: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater, at all depths, in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 7: Percentage of groundwater stations (at all depth) with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average groundwater nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 7: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater, at all depths, in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 26: Percentage of groundwater stations by classes of annual nitrate concentration, at different sampling depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019.

Figure 8: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019



Table 8: Percentage of groundwater stations with decreasing, stable or increasing trends at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019

Figure 9: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at different depths, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Map 6: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 7: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 8: Annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-2019. Higher values are plotted on the top.



Map 9: Comparison between annual average nitrate concentrations in groundwater for each concentration class separately. Reporting period 2016-2019



Map 10: Stations with annual average nitrate concentrations equal to or exceeding 50 mg/l in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-2019



Map 11: Maximum nitrate concentrations in groundwater for the reporting period 2016-2019. Higher values are plotted on the top.



Map 12: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 in all stations.



Map 13: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration below 25 mg/l in 2016-2019



Map 14: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 25 and 40 mg/l in 2016-2019



Map 15: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 40 and 50 mg/l in 2016-2019



Map 16: Strong trends in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019, for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration equal to or above 50 mg/l in 2016-2019



Map 17: Map of stations with no trend in nitrates concentrations in groundwater between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Surface water quality

Table 28: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 10: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface waters (rivers and lakes), in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 29: Percentage of saline surface water monitoring points per water quality class (annual average nitrate concentration in mg nitrate per l) for all stations of the EU27 Member States and UK for the period 2016-1019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 11: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface waters, in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 30: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (rivers and lakes) with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average fresh surface water nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 12: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (rivers and lakes). Reporting period 2016-2019



Table 31: Percentage of saline surface water stations with decreasing, stable or increasing trends in average saline surface water nitrate concentrations between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available



Figure 13: Frequency diagram of trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water. Reporting period 2016-2019



Table 32: Percentage of surface water stations by classes of annual nitrate concentrations for different stations type and aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019

Figure 14: Frequency diagram of annual average nitrate concentrations in different surface waters, aggregated over all Member States. Reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 33: Percentage of river stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available

Figure 15: Frequency diagram of the trophic status of rivers in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 34: Percentage of lake stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available

Figure 16: Frequency diagram of the trophic status of lakes in reporting period 2016-2019



Table 35: Percentage of transitional water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available

Figure 17: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of transitional waters in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 36: Percentage coastal water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available

Figure 18: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of coastal waters in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 37: Percentage of marine water stations at different trophic status for all EU27 Member States and UK in reporting period 2016-2019.

(*) NA: not available

Figure 19: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of marine waters in reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 38: Percentage of surface water stations at different trophic status for the reporting period 2016-2019. Note that the number of underlying Member States is different per water type.

Figure 20: Frequency diagram of trophic status classes of different water types in reporting period 2016-2019. Note that the number of underlying Member States is different per water type.



Table 39: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.

Table 40: Percentage of fresh surface water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 41: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.

Table 42: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water quality class, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.



Table 43: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water trophic status classes, aggregated by sea regions and sub-regions. Reporting period 2016-2019.

Table 44: Percentage of marine, coastal and transitional water monitoring points per water trophic status classes, aggregated by sea regions. Reporting period 2016-2019



Map 18: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.

Map 19: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.

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Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Map 20: Annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (river, lake/reservoir) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 21: Annual average nitrate concentrations in fresh surface water (river, lake/reservoir) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 22: Annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 23: Annual average nitrate concentrations in saline surface water (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 24: Percentage of surface waters stations (all categories) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 25: Percentage of surface waters stations (all categories) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.

Map 26: Trophic status in surface water (all categories) for the reporting period 2016-2019

Map 27: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (river, lake/reservoir) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 28: Percentage of fresh surface water stations (river, lake/reservoir) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.

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COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Map 29: Percentage of saline surface waters stations (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) in eutrophic status at the NUTS2 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 30: Percentage of saline surface waters stations (transitional, coastal, and marine waters) in eutrophic status at the NUTS3 level, for the reporting period 2016-2019. The label ‘NA’ stands for not available data.



Map 31: Annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) for the reporting period 2016-2019. Higher values are plotted on the top



Map 32: Comparison between annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water for each concentration class separately. Reporting period 2016-2019



Map 33: Winter average nitrate concentrations in surface water for the reporting period 2016-2019. Higher values are plotted on the top



Map 34: Maximum nitrate concentrations in surface water for the reporting period 2016-2019



Map 35: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for all stations



Map 36: Strong trends in winter average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019



Map 37: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration below 2 mg/l in 2016-2019



Map 38: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 2 and 10 mg/l in 2016-2019

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COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Map 39: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 10 and 25 mg/l in 2016-2019

Map 40: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 25 and 40 mg/l in 2016-2019

Map 41: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration between 40 and 50 mg/l in 2016-2019

Map 42: Strong trends in annual average nitrate concentrations in surface water (all categories) between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 for stations with an average annual nitrate concentration equal to or above 50 mg/l in 2016-2019

Map 43: Map of stations with no trend in nitrates concentrations in surface water between the reporting periods 2012-2015 and 2016-2019



3. NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONES

Table 45: Implementation of Article 3 of the Nitrates Directive in 2016-2019. In blue the MS that changed NVZ in RP7, in grey the not valid or drafted zone that are excluded from the total value. (Source: JRC)

(*)

Poland is the unique country that changed the NVZ approach adopting a territory approach in 2016-2019

NA: not available

Table 46: Analysis of added and removed NVZ respect to the previous reporting periods. In the table only the countries that changed NVZ. See countries in blue in Table 45 (Source: JRC)



Map 44: Implementation of Article 3 of the Nitrates Directive in 2016-2019 (Source: JRC)

Map 45: Analysis of added and removed NVZ respect to the previous reporting periods. In the map only the countries that changed NVZ in RP7. (Source: JRC)

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COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


4. COUNTRY FICHES

   

Pressure from Agriculture

Austria’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 2.7 Mha in 2016 and has been reduced by 17% since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order milk (18.5%), cattle (11.5%) and cereals (10.5%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Austria

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

While Austria’s arable land has remained stable since 2007, the permanent grass land area has decreased by 28 % since 2007.

Animal distribution in Austria

Austria’s live poultry has increased by 19% since 2005. The livestock index has steadily increased since 2005 and is higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Animal production is dominated by bovine and swine (total LSU and LSU by animal type were retrieved individually from EUROSTAT).
In this document, the NUTS-2013 version is used. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gisco/geodata/reference-data/administrative-units-statistical-units/nuts)

Water Quality Monitoring

Austria maintains three types of monitoring stations including Surveillance, Operative and Investigative monitoring, all with a different aim. As from 2016, new surveillance sampling sites are being monitored to better cover smaller catchment areas and bioregions/types not sufficiently covered previously. Surveillance and operative monitoring are implemented nationwide while investigative monitoring is carried out on an ad hoc basis under the provincial governor’s water supervisory responsibility. At the surveillance sampling sites, the entire available range of parameters, general physical and chemical parameters, are measured continuously on a monthly basis. For the operative monitoring quality elements with highest sensitivity in terms of respective pressure are measured. General physical and chemical parameters are measured on a monthly basis over a 1-year period, whereas biological parameters are examined only once a year. The chemical status of groundwater is measured in all groundwater bodies. Sampling is carried out with comprehensive set of parameters at regular intervals up to four times a year. For groundwater bodies not in a good chemical status an operative monitoring is conducted after the first year of surveillance monitoring including a set of parameters indicative for the respective pressure until the groundwater body achieves a good chemical status.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.



Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 8. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 9. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

Classification of the eutrophic status reported in Figures 12 and 13, have been carried out using different methodologies in the considered reporting periods. For the current reporting period, eutrophication status was assessed based on biological quality elements (phytobenthos for rivers, phytoplankton for lakes) according to the Water Framework Directive requirements (deviation in trophic status from trophic reference condition expressed as Ecological Quality Ratio, EQR). For the previous reporting periods, 2012-2015 and 2008-2011, eutrophication was evaluated based on the mean total phosphorus concentrations, without consideration of the trophic reference conditions for sampling stations.

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 14. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 15. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Measures in the Action Programme

The Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CAGP) has been incorporated into the Austrian Action Programme, which applies throughout the national territory. The Action Programme was last revised in 2016/2017, and the current programme entered into force on 1 January 2018 as the Nitrates Action Programme Regulation (NAPV). This is implemented throughout the country and the revision mainly puts in place regionally differentiated requirements, allowing stricter measures to be taken in areas with a higher nitrate concentration in groundwater or increased load risk to groundwater due to agricultural land use. In particular, for the first time areas where stricter measures are required in terms of necessary storage capacity and record-keeping obligations have been identified. The key measures are summarised in the table below, however additional measures can be taken on a voluntary basis to promote environmentally friendly and extensive agriculture that protects natural habitats. The AP is available online: Nitrat-Aktionsprogramm-Verordnung, bmlrt.gv.at . Cost effectiveness analysis was not reported.

Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) NAPV - Nitrates Action Programme Regulation (Nitrataktionsprogramm-Verordnung)

Controls

Compliance with the Action Programme’s requirements is monitored by the Water Inspectorate, as well as by Agrarmarkt Austria, the agency managing payments under the common agricultural policy pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013. The implementation of the provisions of the nitrate Action Programme is monitored both through administrative controls and through on-site checks. The average annual number of holdings subject to on-site cross-compliance checks is 1391 in average in the period 2016-2019.

Designation of NVZ

Austria has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

It is expected that nitrate loads can fall further, in particular in areas that currently have high nitrate concentrations, thanks to the measures taken. In most porous aquifers, however, it will take some time for the expected decline to become apparent due to the sometimes long retention times in groundwater. The favourable conditions reported so far in large parts of Austria, where nitrate concentrations have been comparatively low and stable for years, are expected to continue.

Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 17. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Conclusions and recommendations

Austria has an average livestock pressure, the phosphorus surplus is below the average for the EU.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is good in most of the regions; however, hotspots remain in certain regions. All surface waters comply with the maximum nitrate level set in the Nitrates Directive and most of these waters have a good trophic status.

The Nitrate Action Programme was reviewed in 2018 and includes stricter measures for hotspots.

The Commission encourages Austria to continue to follow-up these hotspots and to take appropriate actions if it appears necessary.

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Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Belgium’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 1353 Mha, representing 44% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order: cereals (24.8%), industrial crops (13.5%) and milk (12%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Belgium

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Belgium’s arable land has remained stable since 2007, while permanent grassland decreased slightly with 4%.

Animal distribution in Belgium

Belgium’s live poultry has increased by 21.4% since 2013. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has increased by 1.9% since 2013 and is significantly higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UUA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha – Belgium Flanders

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha – Belgium Wallonia

Figure 3. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring - Flanders

Monitoring for the Nitrates Directive is managed by The Flanders Environment Agency (Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij, VMM) who maintains the Manure Action Plan (MAP) monitoring network. Samples are taken from the MAP surface sampling points on a monthly basis. For those points with concentrations lower than 40 mg nitrate/l for at least three consecutive years, samples are taken only three times per winter year. The MAP monitoring network was extended specifically to assess the impact of agricultural activities on the nitrate concentration in small water systems. The results are used to report on the most recent reporting period (2016-2019) and the previous periods. The monitoring network for eutrophication assessment is that of the Water Framework Directive. For groundwater, samples are taken twice a year for all wells.

For groundwater water measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values covers different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinated: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality - Flanders

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 4. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 5. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 6. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 7. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 8. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 9. GW removed stations map (top graph) and by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality - Flanders

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 14. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 15. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 16. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Like for the previous report the eutrophication criteria are those used for the Water Framework Directive. For all river types except mesotidal lowland estuaries, eutrophication is evaluated based on total phosphorus. For mesotidal lowland estuaries nitrate, nitrite and ammonium are used in addition to total phosphorus to assess the trophic state. Lakes are also evaluated using total phosphorus as criteria. The large majority of rivers is classified as eutrophic (97.2%) while all transitional waters are eutrophic. Only 20% of lakes are non-eutrophic while the rest is eutrophic. No surface water body type was classified as “may become eutrophic”.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 17. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 18. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme – Flanders

For Belgium-Flanders the 5th AP was valid between 2015 and 2018 and was followed up by the 6th AP for the period 2019-2022 adopted on May 2019. The 5th Action Programme contains stricter measures to reduce the pollution of water by nitrates and phosphates from agricultural sources and to prevent further pollution. The 5th action programme aims to have a maximum of 5% of surface water sites exceeding 50 mg/l by the end of 2018 and the overall target for groundwater is a 10% reduction of the nitrate concentration in the shallow groundwater, compared to 2010. In addition, measures for phosphorus, aligned with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive, were also adopted in the 5th Action Programme. The measures of the 5th Action Programme were summarised using four core concepts: area-oriented approach, judicious fertilisation with nitrogen and phosphorus, farm approach and better compliance with the manure legislation.

In the period during which the action programme for 2015-2018 was executed, no further improvement in water quality was observed. The 6th Action Programme therefore contains stricter measures to reduce nutrient losses from agriculture and horticulture and to bring water quality in line with the European targets. To guarantee good area-oriented monitoring of water quality, the mean nitrate concentration of the sampling points in each of the run-off zones of the Flemish water bodies is used as the key indicator. The main objectives of 6th AP are for surface water a decrease of 4 mg of nitrate per litre in the mean distance to the target (18 mg/l), and for groundwater an overall downward trend of at least 0.75 mg nitrate/l per year in all run-off zones with inadequate groundwater quality.

The specific measures, in accordance with Article 5 of the Nitrates Directive, are valid for the entire territory. It is noteworthy that during 2016-2019, the provisions of the Manure Decree amended by the Decree of 12 June 2015 apply for the 2016-2018 period, and the provisions of the Manure Decree amended by the Decree of 26 April 2019 apply from 2019 onwards.

The details of measures are reported in the Table below.

Table 6. Details of the Flemish Action Programme

Controls- Flanders

The number of checks on the application of fertilisers on agricultural land varied from 2398 in 2016 to 3409 in 2019 (large increase from the previous reporting period). The non-compliance went down from 10% in 2016 to 7% in 2019. The largest number of non-compliance deals with no low application emission and fertilisation too close to water courses. The percentage of checks with infringements of the fertlisation transport rules ranges from 7% in 2016 to 9% in 2019.



Designation of NVZ - Flanders

Flanders adopted a whole territory approach (13,522 km2). Since 2011, Flanders uses focus areas to indicate areas with poor surface water quality (based on the evaluation of the exceedance of the threshold of 50 mg nitrate per L) or poor groundwater quality. The focus area went from 2720 km2 for the previous reporting period to 2250 km2 for the current period (2016-2018). Stricter measures are applied in focus areas including provisions relating to the fertiliser spreading prohibition period, requirement under certain conditions to sow catch crops, maintain stricter nitrate residue thresholds at parcel level.

Forecast of Water Quality - Flanders

No information is yet available regarding the future evolution of water quality in Flanders. A model setup is being developed to provide answer for the next reporting period.



Summary – Flanders

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.

Long term analysis - Flanders

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 21. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

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COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Water Quality Monitoring - Wallonia

In Wallonia, nitrate monitoring to support the implementation of the Nitrates Directive is organized by the “Service Public de Wallonie Agriculture, Ressources Naturelles Environnement (SPWARNE), either directly or relying on local potable water producers. For groundwater, drinking water producers represent almost 70% of the groundwater monitoring network. Groundwater monitoring frequency is highly variable and range from 4 measurements per year to 4 measurements every 3 to 4 years depending on the location of the well and the concentration. For surface water, the network was designed to have long time series and ensuring that the network covers the whole territory of Wallonia. Monitoring frequency for surface water is 12 samples per year.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 7. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 8. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality - Wallonia

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 22. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 23. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater concentration trend

Figure 24. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 25. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 26. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 27. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 28. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 29. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 30. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 31. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 32. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 33. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Like for the previous report the eutrophication criteria are those used for the Water Framework Directive. For rivers, eutrophication is evaluated by river type based on orthophosphate and total phosphorus thresholds. For surface water reservoirs, eutrophication is based on summer chlorophyll-a concentration.

Table 9. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 34. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme - Wallonia

Wallonia implements an Action Programme throughout its territory. The Action Programme includes basic measures to be implemented in the whole territory and additional measures to be implemented in NVZ areas. No changes were made to the Action Programme from the last reporting period.

Control-Wallonia

Controls of implementation of the code of good agricultural practices are performed under the framework of cross-compliance. Around 1% of the concerned farmers are visited on a yearly basis. Compliance was 100% for all criteria but for the storage capacity criteria for which compliance was 99.1%. In addition to these checks, addition checks are performed controlling potential nitrogen leaching for farms partially in NVZ areas. The proportion of samples that were compliant with the soil- and crop-specific reference levels was around 80% for the 2016-2020 period.

Designation of NVZs-Wallonia

Wallonia (Belgium) has not modified the designation of the nitrate vulnerable zones during the reporting period. The NVZs extend over an area of 9596.15 km2, representing 57% of the whole territory and 69.2% of the UAA.

Forecast of Water Quality-Wallonia

Future water quality is predicted based on the use of the EPIC-Grid model. The model was run for a period extending until 2050 including scenarios of climate change. It was assumed that land use and fertilization practices were those of 2017, while the introduction of intercropping in a rotation sequence led to a decrease of mineral fertilization by 20 kgN/ha. The results are variable and depend on the selection of the climate change scenario. However, it is expected that climate change will have a significant impact of surface water and groundwater quality.



Summary – Wallonia

Figure 35. Summary plot

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.


Long term analysis - Wallonia

Figure 36. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the measured values for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 37. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the measured values for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Water Quality Monitoring - Federal

The Belgian Federal report presents the water quality of coastal and marine waters. Currently only 3 stations have measurement of concentrations and trends. There is no eutrophic station. The stations have NO3 concentration < 2 mg/l and stable trends.

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 10. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type



Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 38. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis).



Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 39. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).



Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 40. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).



Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 41. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by type (lower graph).

Long term analysis - Federal

Figure 39. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the measured values for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Conclusions and recommendations

Belgium has a very high livestock pressure and the nitrogen surplus is above the average for the EU.

There is a very well elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is bad in particular in Flanders, where also the nitrate concentration in many monitoring points exhibit a strong increasing trend. The water quality in Wallonia is better than the average in the EU and remained stable or improved during the recent years.

Nitrate levels in the surface waters of Flanders are also too high and increased over the last reporting period. While the trophic status is generally good in Wallonia, almost all surface waters are eutrophic in Flanders.

Flanders reviewed its nitrate action programme 2019, including a gradual introduction of reinforced measures in the most polluted areas. Even though a number of deficiencies in the Nitrate Action Program of Wallonia have been identified, this region did not review its action programme during this reporting period.

The Commission urges Flanders to take additional measures that match the severity of the problems and to support farmers switching to more resilient and less intensive production models. Wallonia is required to adapt its programme in accordance with the nitrate Directive.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Bulgaria’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 5.0 Mha, representing 46% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order cereal (33.4%), industrial crops (21.6%) and animals (13%).

Eurostat

 

Major land use statistics for Bulgaria

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Bulgaria’s arable land has increased by 13.8% since 2007. The permanent grass and crops areas have remained stable since 2013.

Animal distribution in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s live bovines remained stable since 2013. The livestock density index has remained stable since 2010 and it is significantly lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The N and P fertilizers and gross surpluses originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2014 and 2017. Data provided by Bulgaria have been used to complete the N and P mineral fertilizer trend for the period 2015-2019 (excluding 2017) because of correspondence, for the previous years, with Eurostat statistics. As regard to N and P manure values, they were comparable only for year 2014 and a difference by 52% and 9% was found, respectively

The mineral fertilizers increased significantly from 2000-2003. Both manure nitrogen and phosphorus have decreased from 2004. The nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses have increased in year 2017 with respect to the period 2012-2015. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The total number of groundwater monitoring points for the current period is 496 (406 points for the previous period). Total number of points common to both periods is 375 (76.6 %). The total number of surface water monitoring points for the current period is 326 (324 points for the previous period). The total number of points common to both periods is 318.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points between the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Bulgaria uses the methodology of the 2015 reporting period for assessing eutrophication in rivers, lakes and coastal waters. However, in order to comply with the terminology used in the Guidance Document of Member States’ reporting on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC, the status is provided as follows:

·points designated as Ultra-oligotrophic and Oligotrophic are classified as Non-Eutrophic;

·the points designated as Mesotrophic are classified May become eutrophic;

·all Eutrophic and Hypertrophic monitoring stations are classified as Eutrophic.

The trophic status of rivers was assessed using the combination of two parameters, nitrate and orthophosphate concentrations. The “less favourable of the two” approaches was adopted, i.e. the classification was made at the highest value of either of the two parameters. The two parameters were selected on the basis of the available monitoring information in the period 2016-2019 and their concentrations were determined for most of the points.

Nitrate, orthophosphate, total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a and transparency were analysed in the lakes, but the classification was carried out according to indicators of total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a and transparency. The ‘less favourable indicator’ approach was adopted, i.e. a classification was made at the highest value of any of the parameters.

For eutrophication in coastal marine waters the parameters nitrate, orthophosphate, total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a were used, but the classification has been carried out based on the following indicators: nitrate, orthophosphate and chlorophyll-a.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme

The programme of measures for limiting and preventing pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources in vulnerable zones was published in 2006. The measures under the programme are mandatory for all farmers on the territory of nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs). The NVZ areas were designed by Order No RD-660/28.8.2019 of the Minister for the Environment and Water.

The requirements under Part III, Section A concerning the availability of manure storage facilities have been obligatory for farmers since 31 December 2010. The programme is optional for farmers pasture-rearing endangered local species in accordance with Regulation No 7 of 2015 on the implementation of Measure 10 ‘Agri-environment-climate’ of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The details of Action Programme are reported in Table 6.

Cost effectiveness analysis was not reported.



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

Controls

During the period 2016-2019, inspectors from the Regional Food Safety Directorates carried out a total of 7 146 inspections (compared to 7 729 in the previous reporting period), of which 3 820 used to check the compliance with the Rules of Good Agricultural Practice for the implementation of Measure 214 ‘Agri-environmental payments’ under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 and Measure 10 ‘Agri-environment-climate’ of the RDP 2020-2014 and 3 326 cross-compliance checks for compliance with the Programme of Measures for the Restriction and Prevention of Pollution by Nitrates Pollution of Agricultural Holdings (ZPZs) and for agricultural holdings.

Designation of NVZ

The vulnerable zones were initially designated by Order No RD-795 of 10.08.2004 of the Minister for the Environment and Water. Subsequently, by Order No RD-930 of 25.10.2010 of the Minister of Environment and Water, the NVZ was revised and updated. A subsequent review was carried out in 2015 by Order No RD 146/25.2.2015. During the course of this review, the boundaries of the NVZ were not changed and were kept identical to the territories of municipalities and parts thereof designated in 2010. By Order No 660/28.08.2019 of the Minister for the Environment and Water, a new review and update of the waters contaminated and threatened with pollution on the territory of the country were carried out. In the context of this revision, the boundaries of the NVZ were changed and the territories and 6 additional municipalities (compared to the 2015 NVZ) were included. The current area of NVZ is about 38 627.6 km2, increasing of about 276 km2 with respect to the previous reporting period.

Forecast of Water Quality

There was no forecast of water quality. Bulgaria used the trend determined during the reporting period to provide an overall picture of the water status.

Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Bulgaria has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen is average for the EU and there is low surplus of for phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, there are hotspots, with a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l and many monitoring points have a strong increasing trend.

A very high number polluted groundwater and of surface waters found to be eutrophic are located outside the NVZ, which were extended in 2015 and reviewed in 2019.

A revised action programme was published in 2020.

The Commission recommends Bulgaria to focus on the hotspots and to review the designation of NVZ and include areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic where agricultural pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Croatia’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 1.5 Mha, representing 27.6% of the total land area and has increased by 18.8% since 2013. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order cereals (17.1%), industrial crops (10.3%) and forage plants (9.4%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Croatia

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Croatia’s arable land has remained stable since 2013. The permanent grass land area has increased by 55% since 2007.

Animal distribution in Croatia

Croatia’s has seen a decrease in all livestock. The livestock density index has continued its steady decrease since 2007. It is below the EU average of 0.8 since 2010.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer and gross surplus data originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2017. Data for year 2018 have been retrieved from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. The consumption of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus has decreased since the 2004-2007 reporting period. Both nitrogen and phosphorus from manure have decreased since the 2004-2007 reporting period. Both the nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses continue to decrease since the 2000-2003 reporting period. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The legal basis, as well as the scope, type and methodology of water testing in Croatia are laid down in the Water Act (NN No 66/19) and in the Decree establishing water quality standards (NN No 96/2019). Monitoring is the responsibility of Croatian Waters, in line with a monitoring plan adopted by that agency.

Water monitoring in vulnerable zones is conducted as part of surveillance and operational monitoring and focuses on indicators in surface and groundwater, in accordance with the “status and trends of aquatic environment and agricultural practice” guide. Nitrates in groundwater are tested less frequently than in surface waters. Samples are collected in the shallower and deeper parts of unconfined and confined aquifers.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis). *

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ. The “high trophic status” refers to Eutrophic status.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ. The “high trophic status” refers to Eutrophic status.

Measures in the Action Programme

The First Action Programme for the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (NN No 15/13) was adopted in accordance with Article 5 of Council Directive 91/676/EEC. The Action Programme, which entered into force on the date of Croatia’s accession to the European Union, covers a period of four years from the date of its entry into force.

In 2017, the Second Action Programme for the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (NN No 60/17) was adopted for a period of four years. It entered into force on 1 July 2017.It is noteworthy that in accordance with the provisions of Article 5(4) of the Nitrates Directive, the Second Action Programme sets the new limit values for the application of nitrogen from livestock manure at 170 kg N/ha per year, compared to 210 kg N/ha per year in the First Action Programme. See details in the table below.

The conditions and measures laid down in the Programme are binding on agricultural holdings with agricultural land and/or facilities located within the areas designated as nitrates vulnerable zones under the Decision NN No 130/12. The conditions and measures laid out in the Programme are considered as recommendations for agricultural holdings with agricultural land and/or facilities outside nitrates vulnerable zones. The details of the Action Programme are reported in Table 6.

No cost-effectiveness studies were carried out in this reporting period.



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) Second Action Programme for the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (NN No 60/17)



Controls

Agricultural producers are subject to the inspection of compliance with the provisions the Action Programme within the scope of the Water Act and to the control of cross-compliance with SMR1 and GAEC1 rules. During the current reporting period, an average of 27% of the farmers located in vulnerable zones, or a group of vulnerable zones, were subjected to administrative inspection.

Designation of NVZ

Under the Decision designating vulnerable zones in the Republic of Croatia (NN No 130/2012), the zones designated as being vulnerable to nitrates account for around 10% of Croatia’s total land area. The NVZ area did not change with respect to the previous report period and it is about 5090 km2.

Forecast of Water Quality

The effects of climate change, which are already identifiable and measurable, make it difficult to predict the future quality of surface waters and groundwater. A study interpreting the analysis of climate change for the purposes of water management planning conducted by the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service1 predicts a greater increase in temperature in the Adriatic river basin district during the warm months (April-November) than in the territory of the River Sava sub-basin, as well as those of the River Drava and the River Danube sub-basin. During the cold season, river sub-basin districts in inland areas will experience higher temperatures, with those in the River Sava sub-basin exceeding those in the sub-basin of the River Drava and the River Danube.

Also, precipitation in the warm season is expected to fall, more so in the south of the country than in the north, while northern parts of the country are likely to see more pronounced precipitation than southern ones in the colder season.

Given that the expected effects of climate change on water regime point to greater vulnerability of water resources to water pollution, and thus to water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources, a revision of vulnerable zones will be undertaken in the next period, taking into account increased risks associated with the synergies between climate change and agricultural practice.

1https://www.voda.hr/sites/default/files/dokumenti/interpretacija_analize_klimatskih_promjena_za_planske_potrebe_upravljanja_vodama.pdf

Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ (one station in this case) with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/ (two stations in this case), and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.

Long term analysis

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Croatia has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen is about the EU average, while there is a low surplus of phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations in NVZ, but no monitoring station outside these NVZs. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, a high number of surface waters are eutrophic.

A revised action programme was published in 2017.

The Commission recommends Croatia to expend its water monitoring network to include monitoring stations outside NVZ in order to follow possible nitrates pollution development in these zones.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Cyprus’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 112∙103 ha, representing 12.1% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The outputs of the agricultural industry are largely dominated by milk (25.1%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Cyprus

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Arable land increased by 6% from 2013. The permanent grass area has decreased by 50% since 2013. The area dedicated to permanent crops has decreased by 25.7% since 2007.

Animal distribution in Cyprus

The number of dairy cows has increased while the number of live pigs continued its steady decrease since 2007. The livestock density index is at its lowest since 2006. However, it is higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

It must be noted that the Directive applies only in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and in the areas of the British Sovereign Bases. There were changes in the groundwater monitoring network due to the restructuring of the network that started early during this reporting period. No changes were reported for the surface and coastal waters monitoring.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Measures in the Action Programme

The first Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CAGP) was drawn up in 2002 on the basis of Decree RAA 407/2002 and was revised in 2007 on the basis of Decree RAA 263/2007. Currently, the Cypriot authorities are in the process of revising the Code of Good Agricultural Practice. The Action Programme (AP) was published for the first time on 30/01/2004 and was revised on 10/08/2012 and 17/07/2013 before the last revision done on 06/06/2014 by the Decree RAA 281/2014. The measures include the proper storage and controlled use of fertilizers and livestock manure the use of streamlined irrigation systems, the preparation of irrigation programmes. It also includes closed periods for using nitrogen fertilizers, providing farmers and livestock farmers with detailed and constant information. In particular, inorganic fertilizers and manure must be stored in closed safe storage facilities located at least 50 m far from surface waters and 300 m far from springs or boreholes used for water supply purposes. The use of fertilizers is also prohibited in areas within 50 m of surface waters and 300 m from spring and boreholes used for water supply. The use of crop rotation is recommended in order to reduce the use of fertilizers. The details are reported in the following table.

Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

Cost effectiveness analysis was not reported. The measures are applied equally in all NVZs. Cyprus did not report changes on the measures with respect to the reporting period 2012-2015. Cypriot authorities have discontinued the soil analysis on grounds that it was difficult to draw any conclusions regarding the excessive use of fertilizers. The interruption of the nitrate soil analysis concerned those carried out by the Department of Agriculture for monitoring purposes. The obligation of soil and water analysis by farmers remains in force and is carried out normally.

In addition, it was not possible to calculate the amount of nitrogen from inorganic fertilizers. Nevertheless, the farmers are required by the Action Program to carry out soil analysis in order to be able to calculate the quantities of fertilizers they can apply according to their Nitrogen crops needed.

Administrative controls carried out during the 2016-2919 amounted to 515 (a yearly average of 129 controls). About 16% of the controls resulted in penalties. The main problems associated with the implementation of the action plan are linked to the amount applied of manure and mineral nitrogen.

Designation of NVZ

Cyprus has increased its designated nitrate vulnerable zones from the last reporting period from 444 km2 to 457 km2.

Forecast of Water Quality

There is no information given concerning the forecast of water quality since due to complex climatic, agronomic and complex hydrogeological conditions it is difficult to correctly estimate developments in terms of nitrate concentrations in groundwater.

Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 16. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 17. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Cyprus has a high livestock pressure, the nutrient surpluses are high EU for nitrogen and phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, there are a number of hotspots, with a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l and/ or with a strong increasing trend. Surface waters, on the other hand, remain of good quality.

A very high number of groundwater hotspots are located outside the NVZ.

Cyprus did not review its action programme since 2014.

There is no information given concerning the forecast of water quality.

The Commission recommends Cyprus to revise the designation of NVZ, to review its action programme in particular to reduce the high nutrients surpluses and to reduce and prevent the contamination in groundwater hotspots where agriculture pressure is significant. Cyprus should also provide a forecast of the water quality.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Czech Republic’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 3.5 Mha, representing 45% of the total land area and has decreased by 3% since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order: cereals (22.3%), milk (19.7%), and industrial crops (14.8%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Czech Republic

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Arable land decreased by 5% from 2007. The area dedicated to permanent crops, permanent grass, and kitchen gardens remain stable since 2010.

Animal distribution in Czech Republic

The number of live pigs has decreased while the number of other animals is stable since 2010. The livestock density index is around 0.5. It is lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics


Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

Surface water is monitored through the network of the Povodí state-owned enterprises (formerly the Agricultural Water Management Administration – ZVHS). The network has been in operation since 1993. In addition, groundwater and surface water are also monitored through the framework monitoring programme operated by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ). The monitoring network for groundwater quality was gradually rebuilt between 2005 and 2009 and has been in full operation since 2010. It is the same network used for reporting under the WFD, and measurements are usually performed twice a year: in the spring and in the autumn. Surface water monitoring is based on a network of main and auxiliary profiles. The main profiles monitor major water courses and sampling is performed regularly once a month. These points are representative for the monitoring of water bodies according to the EU Water Framework Directive with emphasis on water bodies with a greater proportion of agricultural land. Auxiliary profiles include major side streams of water bodies, parts of river basins in vulnerable zones, and small isolated vulnerable zones. They are monitored regularly once every four years; emphasis is placed on areas with predominant agricultural activities.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme

The first Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CAGP) was drawn up in 2003 and was revised five times, the last in 2016. The new elements of the last revision concern: period of prohibition of application, proximity of watercourses, effluent storage works, and fertilization plans and spreading records. It was also estimated that 60% of farmers voluntarily comply with the code outside vulnerable zones.

The Action Programme (AP) was published for the first time on 30/01/2014 and was revised on 01/08/2016 (fourth Action Programme). However, the technical revision was published with the Government Regulation No 27/2018 on 1 March 2018.

Only one action programme has been published in the Czech Republic and applies to all the designated vulnerable zones, albeit several variants of measures are applied taking into account the soil and climatic conditions of each agricultural parcel. The new measures introduced concern: periods of prohibition of fertilizer application that is different depending on climate region, type of crops, slope, and if a fertilizer has a rapid or slow release of nitrogen; capacity of manure storage, and requirement regarding construction and tightness; rational fertilization, including input/output balance, suitable crop rotation of crops and soil analysis; soil analysis; limitation of total fertilization by type of crops taking into account weather, state of the soils and slope; update of rules on fertilization on slopes; provisions on application of fertilizers near watercourses. All the other measures were not changed with respect to the previous reporting period. The main measures are summarized in the following table.

No cost-effectiveness studies were carried out in this reporting period



Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

(*) Government Regulation No 262/2012 of 4 July 2012 on designation of vulnerable zones and on action programme (Technical amendment: Government Regulation No 27/2018)


The percentage of farmers visited each year in the NVZ areas is 1%. All of them resulted compliant with all the measures excluding those related to winter vegetation cover and irrigation control for which the inspections were not performed by the Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture (ÚKZÚZ). However, the inspections revealed inappropriate manure storage both spatially and temporally. In terms of the use of fertilisers, the inspections revealed violations of the prohibition of application during specified periods, as well as non-compliance with the permitted applied quantity of N/ha.

Designation of NVZ

The first NVZs was designated in 2003. Amendments took place in 2007 and 2011. A third revision of vulnerable zones took place in the Czech Republic in March 2015. This was followed by their approval process, which was confirmed in August 2016. The proportion of agricultural land in vulnerable zones with respect to the total area of agricultural land in the Czech Republic went up from 42.5% in 2003 to 50.2 in 2015. A fourth revision of the area of vulnerable zones took place in 2019 and the legislative procedure has not been completed yet.

The NVZ area for Czech Republic extends over 33153.6 km2, 7.0 % less than in 2012-2015.

Forecast of Water Quality

The assessment of future water quality was performed using trends of long-term time series of nitrate concentrations. The time required for water quality recovery (maximum concentration below 50 mg/l) was performed according to the extrapolated values based on the calculated linear long-term trends. The large majority (79%) of the stations are below the threshold of 50 mg/l with stable or decreasing trends. About 14% of the station have a recovery time below two years while 5% of the monitoring stations will take 15 years and more to recover.

Summary


Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

The Czech Republic has a low livestock density and the surplus of nitrogen is above the EU average, while there is a deficit for phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. There are a large number of groundwater hotspots, with a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l. The nitrate concentrations in surface waters are increasing and a very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic.

A high number of polluted ground waters and of surface waters found to be eutrophic are located outside the NVZ.

A revised action programme was published in 2018.

The Commission recommends Czech Republic to revise the designation of NVZ to include areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic and where the agricultural pressure is significant, and to revise its action programme in particular to reduce and prevent the contamination of surface waters.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Denmark’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 2.6 Mha, representing 62.5% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2013. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order pigs (26.9%), milk (20.7%), and cereals (11.4%).

Major land use statistics for Denmark

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Denmark’s arable land has decreased by 2.6% since 2007. The permanent grass land area has increased by 15.3% since 2013.

Animal distribution in Denmark

All Denmark’s livestock have decreased since 2013. The livestock density index has remained stable since the last reporting period and is significantly higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The gross nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses originate form EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2015. No data for the period 2016-2019 is available. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The groundwater monitoring network used for meeting the monitoring requirements of the Nitrates Directive, ND, also serves to assess groundwater quality according to the Water Framework Directive, WFD. Implementation of the WFD has required large adjustments of the groundwater-monitoring network. The major adjustments took place in the period 2010-17, and involved establishment of new monitoring wells, as well as closure of existing monitoring wells.

Watercourses are dominated by numerous small streams and only very few larger rivers, which still – on a European scale – have relatively short distance between source and outlet. Therefore, Danish streams are generally not liable to eutrophication, and nitrate constitutes a major part of total nitrogen during all seasons. The lakes included are a selection of Danish lakes > 5 hectares covered by the Water Framework Directive.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph). In the map NVZ in blue.

Measures in the Action Programme

According to article 3 (5) in the Nitrates Directive the Danish Nitrates Action Programme applies to the whole national territory. Measures according to code of good practice pursuant to the Nitrates Directive, are included in the Nitrate Action Programme as mandatory measures equivalent to the measures included in the programme pursuant to the directive.

The cost effectiveness shows that the higher N-quota has increased income and N-losses, but in both cases less than expected. The increased income is likely to be around 400-600 million DKK. The increased use of nitrogen has been around 30-35.000 tones N.

The period from 2015 to 2019 has seen a transition towards more targeted measures and this has insured that the implementation has become more flexible and cheaper to implement. At the same time, it has only been a first step towards targeting as the variation in the measures efficiency across soils and the nitrogen retention map has not been fully used in the targeting. The increased flexibility was a process that already started before 2016 allowing farmers to replace catch crops with other measures if the measures had the same environmental effect. The targets regarding collective measures have been ambitious and especially the creation of mini wet lands, which in 2015 was a new measure. It is not uncommon that new measures are faced with implementation challenges, which also happened in this case despite a large effort to get farmers on board



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) Executive Order (EO) No 760 of 30 June 2019 on Environmental Regulation of Animal Husbandry and the Storage and Use of

Fertilisers, "Bekendtgørelse om miljøregulering af dyrehold og om opbevaring og anvendelse af gødning"

Executive Order (EO) No 762 of 29 July 2019 on Agricultural Use of Fertilisers in the planning period 2019/2020, “Bekendtgørelse

om jordbrugets anvendelse af gødning i planperioden 2019/2020”.

Order No. 1318 on commercial keeping of livestock, manure, silage, of /06/2015.

Act No. 338 of 2. April 2019 on agricultural use of fertilizer and plant cover. “Lov nr. 338 af 2. april 2019 om jordbrugets an-vendelse

af gødning og om næringsstofreducerende tiltag”

Controls

In the period2016/2017, the Danish Agricultural Agency carried out 121 inspections on the spot, 1.7 % were reported to the police for severe violations and 0.8 % receives an administrative fine for a severe violation of the provisions on rational fertilizer use. This share illustrates a decrease in farms with severe violations, compared to the previous data from 2014 (9.6 %).

586 Danish farmers over the 35.866, which were obliged to submit a fertilizer account in the period 2016/2017, were controlled for fertilization accounts and for the amount of livestock manure applied to land each year.

In 2019, a total of 235 on-site inspections on catch crops was carried out involving three national schemes on catch crops: Mandatory catch crops, livestock catch crops and the targeted nitrogen regulation (targeted catch crops).

Designation of NVZ

Denmark applies a whole territory approach (43,908 km2).

Forecast of Water Quality

In the 2nd River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) for 2015-2021 it was estimated that land-based Danish nitrogen losses to Danish coastal waters should be reduced to approximately 44,700 tons N/year (target load) to support the coastal waters to meet good ecological status. In the model calculations it is assumed that other member states reduce their load correspondingly to a level that supports the achievement of the targets (burden-sharing).

As regard to the environmental objectives in groundwater, it was presupposed in the 2nd RBMP that on a long term basis, the new targeted regulation along with the baseline 2021 and the existing general regulation will meet the need of measures for groundwater bodies as proposed in the draft river basin management plans 2015-2021. Thus, groundwater bodies in poor chemical status in general are expected to reach good chemical status after 2021.

Summary



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively. « Note that all types of surface waters are pooled. For the last period (2016-2019), considerable more water courses were monitored compared to previous periods. This might have biased the average towards higher NO3 concentration”



Conclusions and recommendations

Denmark has a high livestock pressure and the nitrogen surplus is about the average for the EU.

There is a very well elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, there are a high number of groundwater monitoring points with increasing trend. A very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic.

The action programme was revised in 2020.

The Commission recommends Denmark to further reinforce its action programme to tackle the eutrophication of both inland and marine waters where the agricultural pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Estonia’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 1 Mha, representing 23% of the total land area and increased of 10% since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order milk (27.3%), and cereals (17.3%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Estonia

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Estonia’s arable land has increased since 2013 by 9.4%. The permanent grass land area has decreased by 6.5% 2013.

Animal distribution in Estonia

Estonia’s livestock decreased since that last reporting period for all animal types. The livestock density index has continued its steady decrease since 2005 and is significantly lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

In Estonia, groundwater is monitored under the groundwater monitoring sub-programme of the national environmental monitoring programme; both in the bodies of groundwater established in accordance with the Water Framework Directive and in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ). The monitoring of groundwater covers the chemical and quantitative status of all 31 bodies of groundwater in Estonia. Given the higher agricultural pressure in the NVZ, the density of the network is higher in designated NVZ areas where sampling is performed up to four times a year (only once a year for groundwater bodies located outside NVZ areas).

The surface waters are subject to continuous monitoring. Trends are estimated every year at continuous monitoring stations. Status monitoring (on a rotational basis, at least once during each river basin management plan period, i.e. once every 6 years) is carried out on all major flowing and standing surface water bodies and coastal waters. This surveillance monitoring as defined in the WFD is designed to determine the ecological and/or chemical status of the water bodies; the monitoring of hydrobiological and hydrochemical parameters is also included. The sampling frequency at the continuous monitoring trend stations is four to 12 times a year.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type in the whole country



Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type in the whole country

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 8. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 9. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 14. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.


Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 15. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 16. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme

Table 6. Details of Action Programme

The 2016-2019 reporting period covers the Pandivere and Adavere-Põltsamaa NVZ action programme (NVZ action programme) for 2016–2020, approved by Government of the Republic Order No 263 of 21 July 2016. The 2016-2020 NVZ action programme is a continuation of the previous NVZ action programme for 2012-2015. The NVZ action programme has been adapted in light of the experience gained in carrying out the previous plan. The plan has been published on the website of the Ministry of the Environment. By the time of submission of this report, a new NVZ action programme for 2021-2024 is planned to be approved in December 2020.

In Estonia, a large part of the water conservation requirements is established by legal acts; therefore, there are no relevant cost-effectiveness studies that go beyond the legal requirements.

Controls

A total of 560 inspections were carried out in the NVZ in the 2016-2019 period, including cross-compliance inspections (CC) in 70 enterprises each year. A total of 71 violations were identified. Most of the problems were related to compliance with manure handling requirements, followed by violations related to silo handling.

In Estonia, the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) was designated in accordance with Government of the Republic Regulation No 17 of 21 January 2003 ‘Protection Rules for the Pandivere and Adavere-Põltsamaa Nitrate Vulnerable Zone’, which was revised in 2019. The total area of the Pandivere and Adavere-Põltsamaa NVZ is 3 250 km2, which represents 7.2% of mainland Estonia. The NVZ covers 33 local regions either in full or in part, including 31 rural municipalities and two cities (Rakvere and Põltsamaa). Since the establishment of the NVZ, its borders have not been changed and no new areas have been designated.

Forecast of Water Quality

In Estonia, there is no model based on statistical or dynamic simulations that could be used in this report to prepare forecasts for groundwater or surface water quality. However, a forecast study improvement of the nitrate concentration and eutrophication status of groundwater and surface water was developed based on the agricultural forecasts and the future climate scenarios of Estonia. The main findings can be summarized as follows:

·Concerning groundwater where the nitrate concentration is or may rise above 50 mg/L, some increase in NO3 concentration in the NVZ areas can still be predicted;

·Concerning surface water bodies where the nitrate concentration is or may exceed 25 mg/L and which are used for the abstraction of drinking water, no stabilisation or decrease of nitrate levels is likely to occur in the next decade, but the situation may temporarily stabilise under suitable climatic conditions;

·Concerning natural freshwater lakes, other freshwater bodies, estuarine waters, coastal waters and marine waters which are or may become eutrophic in the near future, the risk of eutrophication is 4% in watercourses, 34% in stagnant water bodies and 29% in coastal water bodies. In the case of stagnant waters and coastal waters, it is extremely difficult to achieve improvement, as phosphorus pollution from earlier periods is often released by sediments. Removal of nutrient-rich sludge is very expensive, so a reduction in residual nutrient contamination is unlikely.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively. 

Conclusions and recommendations

Estonia has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen is low and there is a deficit of phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, a high number of surface waters are eutrophic, in and outside NVZ and for both inland and marine waters.

A revised action programme was published in 2016.

The Commission recommends Estonia to revise the designation of NVZ to include areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic and to revise its action programme in particular to reduce and prevent eutrophication of inland and marine surface waters where the agricultural pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

 

Finland’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 2.27 Mha, representing 9.1% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary acts include in a decreasing order milk (24.8%), horticulture and vegetables (11.6%) and cereals (10.0%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Finland

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

There were no major changes in the extent arable land of Finland. Permanent grass has decreased by 21% since 2007.

Animal distribution in Finland

Finland’s bovine and pigs remained stable from the last reporting period. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has also remained stable and is below the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UUA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The monitoring network used for reporting under the Nitrates Directive covers the whole territory. For this reporting period only sites that are clearly affected by agricultural loads were used for the reporting. These sites are also included in the monitoring required under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Some of the monitoring sites have been used for many years dating back to the period 2000–2003. However, some of the monitoring sites are no longer reported as they are principally forestry sites. In addition, the measured concentrations at these sites did not exceed 25 mg/l NO3. The trophic level of surface waters was assessed based on the ecological status classification laid down in the Water Framework Directive (WFD)

While surface waters monitoring is presented only for monitoring locations affected by agriculture, groundwater monitoring includes locations affected by agriculture and background stations (stations with no human impact). Since 2016, the Finnish Government outsourced sampling and sample analysis. However, collected data did not reveal any changes on the results of concentrations and trends.

The river monitoring sites are shallow, and all the sampling depths used were included in the data. In lakes, samples were taken at depths ranging from 0 to 2 meters, including both composite samples and grab samples. In lakes and coastal waters, oxygen content was calculated at a layer close to the bottom.

The nutrient and chlorophyll-a samples of coastal waters were taken from the surface. Nutrient sampling included taking grab samples at depths of 0 and 5 meters and composite samples with the maximum depth of 5 meters. The data on the chlorophyll-a concentration of phytoplankton contain composite samples (max depth 10 m) and grab samples ranging from the surface to the depth of 5 meters.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater Stations Removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph).

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph)

Measures in the Action Programme

The first Code of Good Agricultural Practice was drawn up in 1998 and was revised six times from 2000 to 2015. In Finland, provisions on the code of good agricultural practice required by the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and the action programme referred to in Article 5 of the Directive are laid down in Government Decree 1250/2014. The Finnish Government approved the river basin management plans and the Finnish marine strategy in December 2015. No amendments were made to the Decree during the reporting period 2016–2019, thus Finland did not introduce new elements or made modifications to the code of good agricultural practice and action programmes during the reporting period 2016–2019. However, the action programmes will be updated by the end of 2021. A summary of the action programme is given below.

Cost effectiveness was not reported.

It is noteworthy that the Province of Aland is currently working on a specific action programme based on the targets in the form of preliminary interim targets up to 2021. There is an ongoing process of funding, carrying out, establishing, and implementing the proposals.



Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

(*) Government Decree on Limiting Certain Emissions from Agriculture and Horticulture (1250/2014) issued on 18 December 2014

entered into force on 1 April 2015

Controls

Administrative controls on the implementation of the Action Programme (AP) measures are carried out in the frame of the cross-compliance check. About 520 farmers were controlled every year. Non-conformities for analysis of nitrogen content of manure were detected for 6.3% of the case, manure storage leakage 3.8% and fertilizer usage for 3.8% of the cases.

Designation of NVZ

Finland has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

According to the previous programme of measures of the Finnish marine strategy (2016–2021), the agricultural nitrogen load is estimated to be reduced through water management measures by an average of 5%, in different sea areas, and the phosphorus load by 7%, which is not sufficient to meet the reduction needs required by water resources and sea management. In coastal bodies of water primarily affected by agriculture, the total nitrogen and total phosphorus concentrations should decrease by approximately 30% on average, and chlorophyll concentrations by 58%, in order to achieve a good ecological status Through modeling, it was predicted that the expected increase in rainfall and nutrient leaching caused by climate change will reduce the impact of the nutrient loading reduction scheme of the Baltic Sea countries. The forecasts for the northern Baltic Sea predict an increase or lack of change in the external dissolved inorganic nitrogen load and a reduction in the dissolved inorganic phosphorus loading.

Climate change will increase the likelihood of extreme weather phenomena impacting groundwater reserves and increasing surface water levels. As a result of rising water levels and flooding, the loading of nutrient generated by agriculture might be transported to groundwater reducing or destroying the quality of groundwater in larger areas than before. The washout in wintertime poses significant risks of water quality deterioration. In addition, under climate change a longer growing season is expected, leading to higher fertilizer loads.

Long periods of drought in the summer will lower water levels, in which case groundwater quality may deteriorate in a natural manner as a result of higher concentrations of iron and manganese, as well as rising temperatures. The lowering of water levels may lead to changes in flow directions, in which case pollutants may be carried into groundwater areas from areas that were previously considered safe. More research should, however, be conducted into the impacts of climate change on groundwater reserves and groundwater quality.



Summary

Figure 18. The summary plot for the period 2016-2019

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Finland has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen and phosphorus are close to the EU averages.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. Groundwater quality is good. Surface waters, inland like marine waters, suffer from eutrophication, which is recorded for 83% of monitoring stations.

The current action programme was set in 2014 and will be updated in 2021.

The Commission recommends that Finland reinforces its action programme to tackle the eutrophication issues for both inland and marine waters where the agricultural pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

France’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 29.1 Mha, representing 53.1% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order wine (16.1%), other crops (13.8%) and cereals (13.1%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for France

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

There were no major changes in the extent arable land in France. Permanent grassland continued to decrease, while kitchen garden has increased considerably from 2013.

Animal distribution in France

France live bovine number is stable from the last reporting period. There is a decrease in the number of live pigs while the number of live poultry has increased by 4%. The livestock density index has also remained stable and is close to the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution for France and Corse, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Figure 3. Map of livestock unit distribution for Guadeloupe and Martinique, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

LSU for the Guadeloupe and Martinique Islands is dominated by bovine production (total LSU and LSU by animal type were retrieved individually from EUROSTAT).



Figure 4. Map of livestock unit distribution for Guyana and Reunion, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

LSU for the French Guyana and the Reunion Island is dominated by bovine production (total LSU and LSU by animal type were retrieved individually from EUROSTAT).

For Mayotte (FRA5) no data available from EUROSTAT.

In this document, the NUTS-2013 version is used. ( https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gisco/geodata/reference-data/administrative-units-statistical-units/nuts )

Water Quality Monitoring

Monitoring data are produced by the local water agencies and the local health agencies. Data are then managed by DREAL (regional directorates of environment and land planning). Since 2010, the network has evolved to include when possible more common stations with the network of the Water Framework Directive. For surface water, sampling took place at least six times for the large majority of the stations. Groundwater sampling frequency is at least six samples for the large majority of the stations. France for the first time reported data about the trophic state of surface waters. Concentration measurements are provided for one single year for all water types.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 7. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 8. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 9. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 10. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 15. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 16. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 17. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 18. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 19. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph). In the map NVZ in blue.

Measures in the Action Programme

The Code of Good Agricultural Practice was defined by the decree of 22 November 1993. It was established at the national level and it has not been changed since its release. Many organizations participated to the definition of the Code, as for instance COMIFER, INRAE, IDELE. In addition, the specific regulations under the ICPE “regulated installations for environmental protection“ allows the mandatory applications of these good agriculture practices and under the directive 2010/78/UE 6950 industrial plants are controlled for reducing the nitrogen emissions from agricultural sources.

France has had 6 action programmes since 1996. The latest action programme was adopted in December 2018. The national action programme is complemented by regional action programmes (PARs). Due to restructuring of merging of the French regions, the number of regions in nitrate vulnerable zones went from 21 to 12. So, the sixth action programme is composed by the national action programme and 12 regional action programmes. It is highlighted that the measures can be reinforced in specific “Zones d’Actions Renforcées” (ZAR), that can be also inside NVZ.

In the 2016–2019 period no study of cost-effectiveness was conducted. The following table summarizes the main measure of the action programme.


Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

Controls

Administrative controls on the implementation of the Action Programme measures are carried out in the frame of the CAP cross-compliance check. About 520 farmers were controlled every year. Non-conformities for analysis of nitrogen content of manure were detected for 6.3% of the cases, manure storage leakage for 3.8% of the cases and fertilizer usage for 3.8% of the cases.

Designation of NVZ

France has designated 184260 km2 of Nitrates Vulnerable zones representing about 33.9% of the entire territory. The designated area is lower than the previous designation of NVZ areas that extended over 188793 km2, representing about 34.7% of the territory.

Forecast of Water Quality

The evolution of water quality was done through the analysis performed for the Water Framework Directive implementation. A decrease by 32% of the number of groundwater bodies affected by diffuse agricultural pollution and 31% of the number of surface water bodies affected by agricultural diffuse contamination is expected in 2021.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 21. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 22.Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

The livestock density is close to the EU average but very high in the north west of the country, especially in Brittany. The surplus of nitrogen is close to the EU average, while there is almost no surplus of phosphorus.

The current reporting period includes data only for year 2019.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. Groundwater water is of average quality, with a lot of historical (Brittany, centre west) and new (north, north east) hotspots. Eutrophication of marine water is an issue in the north coast of Brittany.

France revised its actions programmes in 2018.

The Commission recommends France to revise its NVZ based on the latest nitrates pollution data and to reinforce its action programmes for groundwater in hot spots where nitrates pollution is high and for inland and marine surface waters affected by eutrophication where the agricultural pressure is significant. It also recommends extending the monitoring data to include the four years of the reporting period.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Germany’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 16.7 Mha, representing 47.7% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order milk (19.8%), pigs (13.3%) and cereals (10.6%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Germany

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Germany’s arable land has remained stable since 2007. Permanent grass and crops also remained stable while kitchen gardens decreased.

Animal distribution in Germany

Germany’s livestock remained more or less stable. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has also remained stable and is higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The current assessment period covers only the years 2016-2018, because the 2019 measurement results were not available at the time the Report was compiled. When performing the comparison between this reporting period and the previous reporting year 2015 was considered while it was not in the official data delivery and report in 2016. So the data mentioned in the current report for the previous report will be different than that mentioned in the previous report.

For surface measurements, two stations have same coordinates due to different measured waterbodies. In these cases, the average values covers different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinated: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis)

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (right graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph).

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). ). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. 

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis). In the map NVZ in blue.

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). ). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis).

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

 

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (right graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph)

Measures in the Action Programme

In Germany the rules of good agricultural practice for fertiliser use and the measures under the Action Programme are regulated at national level in the federal ordinance on the use of fertilizers (DüV) and the ordinance on facilities handling substances hazardous to water (AwSV). The AwSV came into force on 1 August 2017, and replaces the federal state ordinances on the storage of liquid manure, slurry, farmyard manure, and silage effluent. The DüV was amended in 2017. After that, the European Court of Justice found that the Federal Republic of Germany had failed to meet its obligations arising under the Directive, the DüV was further amended in May 2020. In areas that are highly polluted with nitrates, the federal states are required, as from 2021, to implement seven compulsory measures to improve water status including: reducing the N fertilizer requirement by a farm average of 20%; upper limit of 170 kg N per hectare from organic fertilizers; extension of the restricted period on grassland by four weeks; extension of the restricted period for solid dung and compost by six weeks; prohibition of nitrogenous fertilizer use in the autumn for winter rape, winter barley and catch crops not used as a feed crop; limit to 60 kg/ha of liquid organic fertilizers applied to grassland in the autumn; mandatory intercropping prior to summering. See some details in the table below.

Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

(*) Fertiliser ordinance, amendment 2020 (Düngeverordnung - DüV)

Verordnung über die Anwendung von Düngemitteln, Bodenhilfsstoffen, Kultursubstraten und Pflanzenhilfsmitteln nach den Grundsätzen der guten fachlichen Praxis beim Düngen (Düngeverordnung - DüV)

The federal states have also introduced additional regulations which farmers apply on a voluntary basis (for example, in the context of supporting agri-environmental and climate measures) or with which compliance is mandatory (for example, owing to regulations applying to water protection areas). They specified different measures and control actions by federal states as reported in detailed tables in the report (section “C) Application of the action programmes”)

Since the new Fertiliser Ordinance was amended in 2017 and 2020, no validated data are yet available for the current reporting period 2015 to 2018 (that is different from the official requested: 2016-2019) on the cost-benefit analysis but they reported the following studies: Osterburg et al. (2007), Bach et al. (2016), and Oelmann et al. (2017).



Controls

Administrative controls on the implementation of the Action Programme (AP) measures are carried out in the frame of the cross-compliance check. About 10749 control checks were performed between 2016 and 2018. Around 2089 cases of non-compliance with GAEC1 (nitrates) were detected, 1825 cases resulting in penalties. About 67 cases were subject to penalties concerning the non-compliance with the nitrogen balance.

Designation of NVZ

Germany has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

There was no information given in the German report concerning the forecast of water quality. For the future forecast of both nitrogen and phosphorus will be done through the combined used of several models.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Germany has an average livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen is around the EU average, while there is a deficit for phosphorus.

The number of monitoring stations used for the nitrate report is low and the dataset does not include year 2019. Germany has a high number of groundwater monitoring stations with nitrate concentrations above 50 mg/l and a high number of monitoring stations have a strong increasing trend. A very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic.

Germany revised it action programme in 2018.

The Commission recommends Germany to take reinforced measures to reduce the pollution of groundwater and in areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic. Germany must identify the polluted areas in accordance with the criteria that are set in the Nitrates Directive. It also recommends extending the monitoring data to include the four years of the reporting period.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Greece’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 5.3 Mha, representing 40.8% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order fruit (20.5%), vegetable and horticultural plants (16.7%) and other crops/crop products (16.1%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Greece

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Greece’s arable land has decreased since 2010. Permanent grass has decreased since 2013 while the area of permanent crops has increased.

Animal distribution in Greece

All Greece’s livestock beside poultry have decreased since the previous reporting period. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has also remained stable and is lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The monitoring of inland, transitional, coastal and ground waters in Greece is under the responsibility of the National Monitoring Network (NMM) who reports to the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The National Monitoring Network operates since 2012, and no measurements were performed in the period 2016-2017. As of 2018, the monitoring sites and measurements of the NMN have been modified both for surface and groundwater bodies to align with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. Operational stations that constitute the majority of the network for rivers and transitional waters are monitored every year, once in spring and once in summer. Surveillance stations are also monitored twice a year but for only one year.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 8. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 9. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 14. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 15. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme

The first Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CGAP) was drawn up in 2000 and a new code was published in 2015. The Code includes compulsory measures for producers with holdings in vulnerable zones, in order to ensure compliance with the requirements and obligations laid down in Annexes II and III to the Directive. Among the measures, a particular attention is dedicated to good agricultural practices for surface irrigation.

The mandatory provisions of the CGAP have been incorporated into the cross-compliance document for the 2014-2020 Programming Period and are, therefore, part of the environmental standards producers must comply with in order to be entitled to direct payments and financial support under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The new Action Programme (AP) was drawn up in 2019 and includes the measures summarized in the table below.

Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

In particular the AP contains the following measures for reducing pollution caused by nitrates in NVZ areas: limiting the amount of nitrogenous fertilizers; determining the method and time of application of the necessary fertilizer units per crop; establishing a prohibition period for spreading certain types of fertilizer; adapting cultivation practices; managing agricultural and livestock waste and defining the capacity of manure storage tanks; establishing the obligations of producers; and the control and sanction monitoring mechanism. Specific rules for irrigation were also introduced.

Other measures (emission controls and the code of good practice) are also adopted under the river basin management plans. Specific voluntary measures and actions have also been adopted in the 1st Management plan to control diffuse pollution from agricultural sources. However, the information related to complaint farmers are not reported as well as of cost-effectiveness analyses.

Controls

The mandatory provisions of the Code of Good Agricultural Practices have been incorporated into the cross-compliance document for the 2014-2020 Programming Period. No information was given concerning the controls and controls resulting in non-compliance.

Designation of NVZ

Greece has not changed the areas designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones since the last reporting period. The total designated area represents a total surface of 42 274.5 km2.

Forecast of Water Quality

There was no information given concerning the forecast of water quality.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 17. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Greece has a low livestock density and the surplus of nitrogen is about the EU average, while there is almost no surplus of phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The current reporting period reports data only for year 2018-2019, missing 2016-2017. There are a number of hotspots, with a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l. A high number of surface waters are eutrophic. Trends are missing both for groundwater and surface waters as in the previous reporting period.

A high number of groundwater monitoring stations with nitrate concentrations above 50 mg/l and of surface waters found to be eutrophic are located outside the NVZ.

A revised action programme was published in 2019.

The Commission recommends Greece verify the designation of NVZ, considering that not all the ground waters with nitrate concentrations above 50 mg/l and surface waters found to be eutrophic are included in the NVZ’s. It also recommends extending the monitoring data to include the four years of the reporting period and need report the trends.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Hungary’s utilized agricultural area amounts 5.3 Mha, representing 68% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2010. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order milk (31%), forage plants (22%) and cattle (14.9%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Hungary

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Hungary’s arable land has remained stable since 2010.

Animal distribution in Hungary

Hungary’s live poultry have increased since 2013. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has remained stable and is lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

For groundwater and surface water measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depth. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis).

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph)

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the NO3 concentration

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph)

Measures in the Action Programme

The Hungarian Action Programme was published for the first time in 2001 and was reviewed in 2017.

The main measures are summarized in the following table.

According to Directive 2016/2284 (National Emission Ceilings, NEC), Hungary is required to reduce ammonia emissions by 32 % by 2030. The Ministry of Agriculture funded a number of studies for the preliminary analysis of emission control measures on ammonia reduction. For the selected measures, the impact on farmers’ income and production costs, and the impact on the national budget were analysed.



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) Decree No. 59/2008. (IV. 29.) of the Ministry of Agriculture



Controls

The soil protection authority conducts checks on compliance with the rules of good agricultural practice on arable land, while the water protection authority is responsible for carrying out checks on livestock farms.

During the current reporting period, 6.4% of the livestock farms located in vulnerable zones were subjected to administrative checks, while 3% were subjected to on/site checks. Arable land control rates in vulnerable zones were 35% and 4.3% for administrative and on/site checks, respectively.

Based on the experience of the checks, nutrient management based on soil testing remains the biggest problem for farmers and non-compliance with the maximum levels in nutrient management was to a lesser extent.

Based on the experience of the on-the-spot checks, 0.58 % of the animal holdings checked did not comply with the legal requirements in force, which shows a significant improvement compared to the previous cycle.

Designation of NVZ

Following the second report on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive of 2012, covering the period 2008-2011, Hungary has revised the nitrate vulnerable zones. The area increased by 23.1 % (representing about 70 % of the country’s territory).

Forecast of Water Quality

Nitrogen emission tests were carried out for the periods 2016 to 2018 and 2025 to 2027. The MONERIS model, adapted to national conditions, was used for the forecast. The analysis is based on a simple linear extrapolation (with a conservative approach, implying a more moderate change) in terms of population, point emissions and land use. In the case of nitrogen, changes in nutrient balances are uncertain and cannot be predicted with certainty based on recent trends.

Due to the future evolution of the loads, a model calculation that uses the lower balances was carried out. The results show that low nutrient balances will significantly reduce the nitrogen load of agricultural origin. The time-scale may vary greatly from one water body to another, but at least few decades are necessary, as groundwater may have a residence time of up to hundreds of years.

Summary



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the of the average NO3 annual concentrations for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Hungary has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen is below the average for the EU and there is a deficit of phosphorus.

There is a well-elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, there are some hotspots, with a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l. A very high number of surface waters our found to be eutrophic

A number of surface waters found to be eutrophic are located outside the NVZ.

A revised action programme was published in 2019.

The Commission recommends Hungary to review the designation of NVZ and include areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic when agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Ireland’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 4.5 Mha, representing 64.8% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2013. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order milk (29.3%), cattle (26.4%) and forage plants (14.3%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Ireland

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Ireland’s arable land has decreased by 3% since 2013. Permanent grassland and crops remained stable since 2013.

Animal distribution in Ireland

Ireland’s livestock has remained stable since 2010 and it is higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UUA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The N and P fertilizers and gross surpluses are originated from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2017. Data provided by Ireland have been used to complete the figure for the year 2018 because of correspondence, for the previous years, with Eurostat statistics.

The consumption of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus has increased since the last reporting period. The usage of organic nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer has also increased from the last reporting period. The nitrogen and phosphorus surplus increased from the last reporting period by 39% and 15% respectively. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Animal production is concentrated in the south part of Ireland. Animal production is dominated by bovine livestock type (total LSU and LSU by animal type were retrieved individually from EUROSTAT).

In this document, the NUTS-2013 version is used. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gisco/geodata/reference-data/administrative-units-statistical-units/nuts)

Water Quality Monitoring

The water quality monitoring is under the responsibility of the EPA. A total of 200 groundwater stations are included in this report, spanning the 2016-2019 reporting period, which are a subset of the overall WFD Groundwater Monitoring Programme. The surface water monitoring network has remained relatively stable with a few minor amendments to stations based on safety grounds and to make it more representative of Irish rivers and lakes. Monitoring data for the current reporting period were obtained for 122 WFD surveillance monitoring stations for transitional and coastal stations from the WFD National Monitoring Programme.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend 

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

The hotspot analysis identifies all the GW monitoring stations that have NO3 concentration in the range of 40-50 mg/l with increasing trends and above 50 mg/l. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations by NUTS inside and outside NVZ.

Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and by groundwater type (lower graph).

The removed stations analysis identifies all the GW monitoring stations that were removed in the current reporting period. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points with the concentrations of the previous reporting period, and the table reports the number of stations with measurements and trends per type.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

The analysis shows all the SW monitoring stations with the higher trophic status and the corresponding value of NO3 concentration. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations with measurements with highest trophic status and the corresponding stations by classes of NO3 concentration.

Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

The assessment of trophic condition in Irish rivers is based on biological assessments using a biotic index scheme using aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. The EPA Quality Rating System (Q-Value) enables an assessment of the biological response to eutrophication and organic pollution in a predictable manner. The method has been inter-calibrated for the pressure ‘organic enrichment’ at an EU level under the WFD. In accordance with the Nitrates Directive Article 10 assessment and reporting guidelines, the five classes historically used to indicate trophic condition have been modified to the three classes; “Non-eutrophic”; “Could become eutrophic”; and “Eutrophic”.

29 stations on rivers resulted in eutrophic status as well as 6 SW stations on lakes. 4 transitional costal stations in south eastern seaboard resulted also eutrophic.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

The hotspot analysis identifies all the SW monitoring stations that have high eutrophic status, NO3 concentration in the range of 40-50 mg/l with increasing trends and above 50 mg/l are not present. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations by NUTS inside and outside NVZ. Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph).

The removed stations analysis identifies all the SW monitoring stations that were removed in the current reporting period. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points with the concentrations of the previous reporting period, and the table reports the number of stations with measurements and trends per type.

Measures in the Action Programme

The Code of Good Agricultural Practice was developed in 1996. In 2003, Ireland adopted a whole territory approach in the context of the Nitrates Directive. A National Action Programme (NAP) was finalised in 2005. Elements of this first NAP were given statutory effect by the European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2006. The NAP was revised starting in 2010 at least every four years. The last revision of the NAP was carried out in 2018 and further amendments were published in 2020. Several measures introduced in the last NAP are to be implemented on a phased basis to allow time to make necessary changes on the holdings. Consequently, they fall outside of the 2016-2019 reporting period but are included for reference and consideration. In the following table the details of AP are reported.

In addition, Ireland monitors the implementation of the Nitrates Regulations in part through the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) tasked with monitoring the effectiveness of Ireland’s measures since 2008.

No representative national data is currently available on the cost-effectiveness of practices beyond the minima of the code of practice.

Table 6. Details of Action Programme

Controls

As part of the controls under the Good Agricultural Practice Regulations, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) carries out checks on the application rates of all herd owners with livestock on an annual basis. Herd owners in breach of the 170/250 kg per hectare limit incur penalties. The average number of penalties issued for the 2016-2018 period was 1,810 per annum. In 2018 and 2019 55% and 73% of the inspections were non-compliances due to insufficient storage for livestock manure.

Designation of NVZ

Ireland has adopted a whole territory approach in implementing the Nitrates Directive. This decision was given legal effect in 2003 by the European Communities (Protection of Waters against Pollution from Agricultural Sources) Regulations, 2003 (S.I. No. 213 of 2003). There has been no revision to this decision and the Action Programme is being applied across the whole national territory.

Forecast of Water Quality

Ireland provided a water quality analysis for understanding better the complexity of the factors affecting nutrient loss to water in the diverse agricultural landscape. There have been some encouraging signs with water quality improvement in 152 of 726 water bodies that were prioritised areas for action in the WFD River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) 2018-21 (EPA, 2020). This reflects the positive efforts of local authorities, other public bodies, local communities and landholders. However, it is explained that there is a good relationship between farming intensity and nitrate concentrations in waters, but there is water quality variability within and between sub-catchments. Detailed research work in the Agricultural Catchments Programme has highlighted that soils, weather and farming practices also have a significant influence on nitrate concentrations at the local scale. This has important implications for selecting the right measures in the right place, at the right times. In the context of the development of new CAP knowledge transfer mechanisms will be developed to link research and findings to the advisory and farming communities.

Summary

Figure 18. The summary plot for the period 2016-2019

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Livestock pressure in Irelands is above the EU average. The surplus of nitrogen is about the EU average, while the surplus of phosphorus is among the highest in the EU.

The network of monitoring stations is sufficiently elaborated. The groundwater quality is generally good, with a number of monitoring stations have an increasing trend. Surface waters also have a low nitrate concentrations and the number of waters that are eutrophic remains limited.

The last revision of the action programme dates from 2018.

The Commission encourages Ireland to review its action programme in relation to the high nutrients phosphorus surplus and to continue to follow-up hotspots area’s that show increasing nitrate concentrations.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Italy’s utilized agricultural area amounts 12.8 Mha, representing 43.7% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2010. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order cereals (17.1%), industrial crops (10.3%) and forage plants (9.4%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Italy

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Italy’s arable land has remained stable since 2013. The permanent grassland has increased by 21.7% since 2013, while permanent crops have remained stable

Animal distribution in Italy

Italy’s live bovine and poultry have remained stable since 2013, while live poultry has increased by 4%. The livestock density index has remained stable and is closed to the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UUA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The gross nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2015. N mineral fertilizer decreased by 9.5 %from the last reporting period, while P mineral fertiliser decreased by 15.7%. Both N and P manure remained stable with respect to the previous reporting period. The P surplus increased from the 2012-2015 period, while N slightly decreased. The nitrogen surplus originates form EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2015. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Animal production is concentrated in the northern part of Italy, in particular in Lombardia for bovine and swine, and Veneto for poultry (total LSU and LSU by animal type where retrieved individually from EUROSTAT).

In this document, the NUTS-2013 version is used. ( https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gisco/geodata/reference-data/administrative-units-statistical-units/nuts )

Water Quality Monitoring

The monitoring network of the Nitrates Directive, compared to the previous reporting period 2012-2015, has been subjected to changes concerning the number of stations and their location. These changes have been implemented especially due to the impossibility of sampling, absence of agricultural pressure or monitoring stations located in areas where the agricultural pressure was not considered significant.

For groundwater and surface water measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis).

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). In the map in blue the NVZ

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph)

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph)

Measures in the Action Programme

The main measures of the Action Programme are reported in Table 6.



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) DM (Ministerial Decree) 25 febbraio 2016, Criteri e norme tecniche generali per la disciplina regionale dell’utilizzazione agronomica degli effluenti di allevamento e delle acque reflue, nonché per la produzione e l’utilizzazione agronomica del digestato

Controls

Data on controls are transmitted by the single Regions. Depending on the Region, between 0% and 20% of the farmers located in vulnerable zones were subject to check during the current reporting period.

Designation of NVZ

Italy has increased its designated nitrate vulnerable zones from the last reporting period by 14.6%.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/l, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Italy has an average livestock pressure, the surplus of nitrogen is about the EU average, but no data about phosphorus surplus is available for period 2016-2019.

The network of monitoring stations is very well elaborated. The groundwater quality is generally good. However, there are hotspots, with a nitrate concentration above 50 mg/l with a few hotspots that have an increasing trend. A high number of waters that are found to be eutrophic.

A number of ground water monitoring stations with nitrate concentrations above 50 mg/l and a high surface waters found to be eutrophic are located outside the NVZ.

The Commission recommends Italy to review the designation of NVZ and include groundwater stations polluted or at risk and areas that drain into waters that are eutrophic when agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Latvia’s utilised agricultural area amounts to 1.9 Mha, representing 31% of the total land area. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order: cereals (25.3%) and milk (20.7%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Latvia

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Latvia’s arable land has increased by 8% since 2007. The permanent grass land area has remained stable since 2007.

Animal distribution in Latvia

Latvia’s live bovine has remained stable since 2013. Live pigs and poultry decreased since 2010. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has also remained stable and is lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The monitoring of nitrates in surface waters and groundwater is performed by the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (LEGMC). The monitoring of agricultural runoffs under Latvia’s Environmental Monitoring Programme is conducted by the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU) while the monitoring of marine waters is conducted by the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE). Most of surface water stations had data available for one year, and the sampling frequency varied from 4 to 12 times per year. 11 stations were surveyed along the Baltic coast (within one nautical mile) while the Gulf of Riga was investigated more thoroughly (network density).

However, it is noteworthy that the monitoring points and results of the Agricultural Runoff monitoring have not been included in this fiche. Monitoring activities within the Agricultural Runoff monitoring consist of water sampling at 20 groundwater monitoring sites of which 15 sites sit at a depth of up to 5 m, 4 sites at a depth of 5 -15 m, 1 site in artesian waters. These groundwater monitoring sites mostly are located in the central and southwestern parts of the NVZ. Water sampling has been carried out at 9 drainage fields and small catchments, and 22 rivers in terms of surface waters as part of the Agricultural Runoff monitoring.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.



Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type


Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration1

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis).

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend1

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Groundwater stations removed1

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

 

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status. In the map in blue the NVZ.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph). In the map in blue the NVZ.

Measures in the Action Programme

The first edition of the Code of Good Agricultural Practices (CGAP) was published in Latvia in 1999 and revised in 2008. Some of the measures included in the CGAP were defined as mandatory and incorporated in the laws and regulations and some of the measures were included in the agri-environmental measures of the 2004–2006 Rural Development Plan, the 2007–2013 Rural Development Programme and the 2014–2020 Rural Development Programme of Latvia.

The Action Programme (AP) for vulnerable zones was published in 2004. The AP has expired from 2010 as the Cabinet Regulation No. 834 and Cabinet Regulation No.829 were adopted, covering all the measures in the AP. The table below summarizes the measures. General details are reported in Measure: “General details in Cabinet Regulation No. 834 and Cabinet Regulation No.829”.

In the requirements of the Nitrates Directive to be implemented, measures are defined throughout the country with additional requirements in NVZ.

The assessment of the implementation and impact of the measures of the Action Programme for Vulnerable Zones was carried out for the period 2016–2019.

Individual cost-effectiveness studies were conducted for different practices.



Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

(*) Cabinet Regulation No. 834: Regulation Regarding Protection of Water and Soil from Pollution with Nitrates Caused by

Agricultural Activity

Cabinet Regulation No. 829: Special Requirements for the Performance of Polluting Activities in Animal Housing


Controls

The State Environmental Service (SES) ensures the implementation and control over the implementation of the state environmental protection policy. During the last reporting period, nearly 299 inspections were carried out in NVZ areas (263 inspections less than the previous reporting period). About 45.5% of the inspections performed showed compliance with the requirements. The majority of non-compliance dealt with the failure to ensure adequate storage of manure. Non-compliance resulted in a penalty in 27 cases. In addition to the SES, the State Plant Protection Service (SPPS) is in charge of verifying the compliance of fertiliser use. About 168 inspections based on complaints by residents or planned controls by SPPS were conducted, resulting in 38 violations. Inspections in NVZ areas to assess cross-compliance led to the identification of 4.3% of serious violations (14 out of 336 inspections).

Designation of NVZ

The area of vulnerable zones in Latvia is 8258.7 km2, including 7963 km2 land area and 295.6 km2 of surface water area. The designated area of NVZs has not changed compared to the previous reporting period.

Forecast of Water Quality

It was not possible to make predictions of nitrate content trends in groundwater in the next reporting period, as the monitoring programme implemented is not optimal for assessing the impact of agricultural pollution on groundwater. Most monitoring points (66%) are located in artesian waters, whereas only 16 % of all monitoring points sit in shallow groundwater (at a depth of up to 5 m). In addition, number of observation points in the southern and south-western parts of the NVZ area is too low.


Summary

 

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Latvia has a low livestock density, the surpluses of nitrogen and phosphorus are low.

There is a well elaborated network of monitoring stations. . A very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic. Eutrophication is affecting both inland and marine waters. A very high of waters found to be eutrophic are located outside NVZ.

Latvia updated its action programme dates in 2018.

The Commission recommends that Latvia revises its NVZ to address eutrophication of surface waters where agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Lithuania’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 2.95 Mha, representing 47% of the total land area. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order cereals (28%), milk (4.6%) and industrial crops (10.7%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Lithuania

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Lithuania’s arable land has increased by 16.8% since 2007. Permanent grassland increased by 37% since 2013, while permanent crops and kitchen gardens remained stable.

Animal distribution in Lithuania

Lithuania has seen a decrease in all bovine and pig production while poultry has been increasing since 2010. The livestock density index has decreased by 35% and is below the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

The programme for monitoring rivers, lakes and reservoirs covered by the Nitrates Directive is part of the River Basin District (RBD) management plan monitoring of the WFD and the State environmental monitoring programmes for 2011–2017 and 2018–2023. River monitoring sites located in areas subject to the impact of intensive agricultural activity are monitored 12 times a year. In the other areas subject to the impact of mixed human activity, monitoring is carried out 12 times a year for most of the stations, and four times a year at intervals of 6 or 3 years based on a rotation principle. For most lakes, monitoring is conducted in accordance with a rotation principle, four times a year at intervals of six or three years.

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of annual NO3 average trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph).

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis).

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis).

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph).

Measures in the Action Programme

The first Action Programme for Lithuania was published in 2003 and the last revision was made in 2017. The first Code of Good Agricultural Practice was drawn up in 2000 and was recently revised on 8 April 2019. Particular attention was paid to improving soil fertility in an environmentally friendly and resource-friendly way, promoting anti-erosion and sustainable farming, the rational application of fertiliser to crops, plant protection, water and waste management, the utilisation of renewable energy sources and the maintenance and care of landscapes and biodiversity. The recommendations on methods and the time for incorporating manure and slurry, land governance and the application of crop rotation have been updated for the purpose of adapting to and mitigating the consequences of climate change. On the basis of the recommendations of the updated Code, the manure and slurry management requirements are scheduled to be reviewed during the period of implementation of the next Action Programme. The training programme on promoting the application of the Code’s recommendations is also scheduled to be updated or, if necessary, a new one is to be drawn up.

Since all of Lithuania has been designated as nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ), so a common action programme has been approved and is in force for the entire territory of Lithuania. The measures under the updated Action Programme are summarized in the following table. The updated measures concern: restrictions for application on sloped soils, crop rotation, cultivated areas without plant cover in the winter season, fertilization plans and spreading, and other specific new measures.

No individual cost-effectiveness analyses of good practices were carried out in Lithuania. However, in the process of implementing the WFD and drawing up the third river basin district management plans, new measures for reducing diffuse-source pollution will be identified.



Table 6. Details of the Action Programme

(*) Order No D1-367/3D-342 of the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Agriculture of 14 July 2005

Order No 3D-932 of the Minister for Agriculture of 5 December 2014

Order No 3D-254 of the Minister for Agriculture of 3 April 2015

Order No 3D-332 of the Minister for Agriculture of 29 May 2019

Order No 540 of the Minister for the Environment of 7 November 2001

Controls

Administrative controls on the implementation of the Action Programme measures are carried out in the frame of the cross-compliance check. Checks to see whether agricultural operators are implementing the requirements of the Nitrates Directive are carried out by the Environmental Protection Department (AAD) under the Ministry of the Environment. Checks of compliance by operators applying for aid with cross-compliance requirements are carried out by the National Paying Agency. According to the AAD most of non-compliance dealt with manure storage and collection capacity (4.8%) followed by periods of land application (2.3%). The financial cost of applying the environmental measures remains one of the main reasons for incorrect implementation of the corresponding requirements within a complex competitive environment.

Designation of NVZ

Lithuania has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

According to the national report of Lithuania if additional pollution reduction measures are not taken, nitrate concentrations in surface water bodies are not expected to diminish.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Lithuania has a low livestock density, the surplus of nitrogen and phosphorus is not available for 2016-2019.

There is a well elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is good, however there is a high number of groundwater monitoring stations with an increasing trend. A high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic. Eutrophication is affecting both inland and marine waters.

Lithuania updated its action programme dates in 2017.

The Commission recommends that Lithuania reinforces its action programme to better address eutrophication of surface waters where agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Luxembourg’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 0.13 Mha, representing 54% of the total land area. The major outputs of the agricultural industry, excluding services, ranked in descending order are milk (31%), forage (22%) and cattle (14.9%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Luxembourg

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (including agricultural land abroad, abbreviated as UAA)

Luxembourg’s arable land has remained stable since 2005. Permanent grassland and crops were also stable.

Animal distribution in Luxembourg

Luxembourg has experienced seen a decrease in the number of pigs and poultry over last years. The livestock density index (livestock unit per hectare of Utilized Agricultural Area) has risen by 5.5% since 2013 and it is higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

Water bodies are monitored regularly by the Water Management Authority. The monitoring campaigns aim fulfil the requirements of both the Nitrates Directive and the Water Framework Directive. The sampling frequency ranges is normally 20 or 13 times per year. In some years WFD stations were only monitored 4 times per year. It is also foreseen to streamline as far as possible the groundwater monitoring network with that of the WFD.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 8. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 9. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis).

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 14. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 15. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Measures in the Action Programme

The Code of Good Agricultural Practice was defined by national legislation in 2000 and has been amended several times. During the recent years a greater number of water protection zones have been delimited. In these areas stricter restrictions often apply. Recently, out of the framework of the Nitrates Directive, but with an impact on water quality, new rules were introduced in 2018 establishing protected biotopes and habitats specifically targeted certain types of permanent grassland, stagnant water with a minimum surface area of 25 m2, springs and natural rivers. For example, fertilization is prohibited within a radius of ten meters from a spring and for ten meters on either side of the banks of the natural stream.

Controls

Administrative controls are conducted in the framework of CAP cross compliance. About 85 yearly controls were performed for this current reporting period. No information was given concerning the number of non-compliance. The report mentions about 11 cases of accidental spills of manure and of silage leachate in the neighbouring water courses.

Designation of NVZ

Luxembourg has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

After a careful evaluation of the monitoring data, the report by Luxemburg concludes that technical improvements including manure spreading as well as the environmental legislation should lead to a significant improvement of water quality. Additionally, the enhancement of public farm advisory services may also contribute considerably to an improvement of water quality. It is expected that the ongoing monitoring along with modelling (already in place or being developed) will help explain the lack of results in certain areas.

Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 17. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 18. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Conclusions and recommendations

Livestock pressure in Luxemburg is above the EU average. The nitrogen and phosphorus surplus are not available for 2016-2019.

There is a well elaborated network of monitoring stations. Luxemburg has a high number of groundwater monitoring stations with nitrate concentrations above 50 mg/l and a high number of monitoring stations have an increasing trend. A very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic.

Luxembourg updated its action programme dates in 2018.

The Commission recommends that Luxembourg reinforces its action programme to better address of ground waters polluted hot spots and surface waters eutrophication where agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Malta’s utilized agricultural area amounts 0.012 Mha, representing 37.5% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2013. The major outputs of the agricultural industry include in a decreasing order vegetables and horticultural plants (25.1%), other animal (18.6%). and milk (16.5%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Malta

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Malta’s arable land has remained stable since 2010. The permanent grassland and crops have also remained stable rom 2007.

Animal distribution in Malta

All Malta’s livestock have decreased since 2013. The livestock density index has decreased since 2007 and it is significantly higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The gross nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2015. Both N and P mineral fertilizers slightly decreased from the last reporting period. The usage of N and P manure has decreased since the first reporting period, but N manure exceeds the limit of 170 kg N/ha as required by Nitrates Directive. The nitrogen and phosphorus surplus decreased by 19% and 15% from the 2012-2015 reporting period. The nitrogen surplus originates form EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2015. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

As part of the operational groundwater quality monitoring network developed in Malta according to Article 8 of the Water Framework Directive, nitrate concentrations are monitored in all fifteen groundwater bodies in the Malta River Basin District. There is a minimum of one monitoring station for each groundwater body, with an overall average monitoring density of one station, roughly every 8 square kilometres (for the smaller groundwater bodies, the monitoring density is even higher). Monitoring stations are sampled every six months.

An integrated approach towards monitoring of surface waters is adopted, whereby monitoring in relation to the Nitrates Directive is incorporated within the monitoring programmes for inland surface and coastal waters as reported in Malta’s second Water Catchment Management Plan (WCMP) pursuant to the EU Water Framework Directive. For coastal waters, all monitoring stations in Malta’s nine WFD coastal water bodies are used in this report to contribute to the assessment of effectiveness of the action programme in line with Article 5 of the Nitrates Directive and as part of the monitoring requirements set through Article 6. Such monitoring network enables the establishment of the extent of nitrate pollution in coastal waters. Malta’s inland surface waters are not used for abstraction of drinking water and monitoring is undertaken in WFD inland surface and transitional water bodies as representative of surface waters in Malta. The monitoring network as reported through Malta’s second Water Catchment Management Plan thus applies. Due to issues with procurement processes, the implementation of the monitoring programme has been delayed with the consequence that data for the period 2016-2019 is not available for inland surface and transitional waters. In order to address this shortcoming, Malta is seeking additional data collection processes in parallel to the implementation of the WFD monitoring network.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.



Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis).

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 8. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis).
In the period 2016-2019, only coastal and marine water stations were submitted.

Figure 9. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 10. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis)

Figure 11. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 12. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information. In the map in blue the NVZ
Note that a different methodology has been applied in the current reporting period because the TRIX index used previously did not reflect the actual concentrations of nitrates in coastal waters, hence did not reflect the trophic status.

Figure 13. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

1 Giovanardi, F. and Vollenweider, A. 2004. Trophic conditions of marine coastal waters: experience in applying the trophic index TRIX to two areas of the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 14. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph)

Measures in the Action Programme

The Code of Good Agriculture Practice for Malta (CoGAP) was developed through a Twinning Light Project between Malta and Germany in 2003 (MT 2001/IB/AGRI/01/TL). The aim of this Twinning Light Project was to compile in one document an exhaustive list of good agricultural practices that incorporates all the requirements of EU and national legislation related to agricultural practices, as well as other best practice techniques that are voluntary for the farmer.

The Nitrates Action programme is currently being reviewed to ensure that there is synchronisation between the legal obligations and content of the Nitrates Action Programme. Latest developments for better efficacy for the implementation of these regulations were made through Legal Notice 104 of 2018.

No cost-effectiveness was reported.



Table 6. Details of Action Programme

(*) Subsidiary Legislation (S.L.) 549.66 Nitrates Action Programme Regulation, 2011



Controls

As part of the implementation of the Nitrates Action Programme, farmers are visited by the Directorate of Agriculture to assess on-site implementation of measures. An average of 7.6% of farmers is visited each year, indicating an increase in visits in the current reporting period (2% of visits per year in 2012-2015).

As for the previous reporting period, the highest amount of non-compliance is related to record keeping, which in turn is presenting difficulties to the Competent Authorities to assess the effectiveness of the Nitrates Action Programme.

Designation of NVZ

Malta has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

Groundwater bodies in Malta are characterized by relatively long response times and as such it is expected that the implementation of the envisaged management measures will not immediately be reflected in an improvement in the qualitative status of the underlying groundwater body. The timeframes involved, as inferred from the conceptual models of these groundwater systems, are such as to preclude the achievement of good status within the second planning cycle of the Water Framework Directive (2021) for all those groundwater bodies which have been assessed as currently being in ‘poor’ status. However, meaningful first indicators of improvements in groundwater quality can be identified from the data analysed for the purpose of this report. These first indicators should however be treated with caution and their long-term nature confirmed with subsequent reports under the Nitrates Directive.

The future evolution of water body quality can only be qualitatively evaluated for coastal waters. The data available to date, indicates that Malta’s coastal waters are generally oligotrophic in nature and are thus not subject to nitrogen input that may result in eutrophication. The no-deterioration trends are expected to persist in the future, also in view of the measures that are in place as part of the implementation of the Nitrates Directive.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/l, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 16. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 17. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.



Conclusions and recommendations

Malta has a very high livestock pressure and a high surplus for nitrogen as well as phosphorus from 2000 to 2015. No data for 2016-2019 are available.

There is a very well elaborated network of groundwater monitoring stations. Nitrate concentrations of groundwater are very high but slightly improved compared to 2012 – 2015. None of the coastal or marine waters are eutrophic.

The action programme is currently being reviewed.

The Commission encourages Malta to continue its efforts to reduce pollution of groundwater with nitrates. Malta is recommended to monitor inland and transitional waters.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Netherlands’s utilized agricultural area amounts 1.8 Mha, representing 53.3% of the total land area and has slightly decreased since 2007. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order vegetables and horticultural plants (33.5%), milk (17.8%) and pigs (8.1%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Netherlands

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Netherlands’s arable land has remained stable since 2007. The permanent grass has slightly decreased since 2013, while permanent crops remained stable since 2007.

Animal distribution in Netherlands

All Netherlands’s livestock have increased since 2013. The livestock density index is almost 5 times higher than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The gross nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) surpluses originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2017. The consumption of inorganic and organic N fertilizers during the last reporting period increased with respect to the previous reporting period. The consumption of inorganic and organic P fertilizers remained stable since the 2010-2015 period. The N surplus is higher than that of the previous reporting period, while the P surplus is stable. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Animal production is concentrated in the south-east and central-north parts of the Netherlands. The production is dominated by bovine and swine (total LSU and LSU by animal type were retrieved individually from EUROSTAT, year 2016, February 2021).

In this document, the NUTS-2013 version is used. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/gisco/geodata/reference-data/administrative-units-statistical-units/nuts.

Water Quality Monitoring

The effects of the Action Programme are evaluated through the regular monitoring programmes for groundwater and surface waters and by a specific programme, the Minerals Policy Monitoring Programme (hereinafter also “LMM”). The LMM was developed for measuring the effects of Dutch fertiliser policy on nutrient emissions (nitrate emissions in particular) from agricultural sources into groundwater and surface water and to monitor the effects of changes in agricultural practices on such emissions.

In the following tables, we report the summary of GW and SW stations with measurements and trends. However, due to errors by the Netherlands in reporting data for the previous periods, no comparison can be made with the actual dataset. 

For groundwater measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to privacy regulations. For surface water measurements, some stations have same coordinates because they are representative of different waterbodies. In these cases, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type



Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l. Due to privacy regulation, some coordinates are not accurate and most of the points are overlapping (same coordinates)

The hotspot analysis identifies all the GW monitoring stations that have NO3 concentration in the range of 40-50 mg/l with increasing trends and above 50 mg/l. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations by NUTS inside and outside NVZ.

Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph)

The removed stations analysis identifies all the GW monitoring stations that were removed in the current reporting period. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points and the table reports the number of stations with measurements and trends per type.

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

 

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis).

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

The analysis shows all the SW monitoring stations with the high trophic status and the corresponding value of NO3 concentration. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations with measurements with highest trophic status and the corresponding stations by classes of NO3 concentration.

Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

The eutrophication status is assessed in accordance with the WFD methodology, using an evaluation of the biological conditions and nutrient status in the water bodies. The benchmarks are based on the average summer values for total nitrogen and total phosphorus, expressed in mg/l as N and mg/l as P respectively.

To allow an assessment to be made of the biological condition, measurements are made at the WFD locations of phytoplankton (in lakes, canals, coastal waters and transitional waters) and phytobenthos or other water plants (in rivers). For phytoplankton, both the abundance (chlorophyll-α concentration) and the species composition are determined.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

The hotspot analysis identifies all the SW monitoring stations that have high trophic status, NO3 concentration in the range of 40-50 mg/l with increasing trends and above 50 mg/l. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points, and the table reports the number of stations by NUTS inside and outside NVZ.

Only the NUTS of interest are reported.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water (lower graph)

The removed stations analysis identifies all the SW monitoring stations that were removed in the current reporting period. The map shows the spatial distribution of these points and the table reports the number of stations with measurements and trends per type.

Measures in the Action Programme

The 5th (2014 - 2017) and the 6th (2018 - 2021) action programmes aimed at contributing to the achievement of the goals of the Water Framework Directive in 2027. An approach was chosen which is a balance between what is feasible without major short-term economic impact on agriculture and what is necessary to have all measures taken in agriculture by 2027 at the latest, to ensure that the goals of the Water Framework Directive will be achieved

The measures in the sixth Nitrates Directive action program build on the measures deployed in the previous action programs.

A number of measures of the 6th action program entered into force during this reporting period: adjustment of nitrogen application standards for green manures, stricter requirements for catch crops in or after maize on sand and loess soils, shifting of the slurry spreading period on arable land, adjustment of rules for destroying grassland and improving awareness, knowledge and skills to reduce leaching and run-off of nutrients, including stimulation of precision fertilization, cultivation of catch crops and green manures, and dissemination of knowledge to prevent yard runoff.

The system of phosphate rights for dairy farming was introduced on 1 January 2018. This system must ensure that phosphorus production remains below the phosphorus ceiling. The production of phosphate in manure is regulated per dairy farm by (tradable) phosphate rights.

Controls

The implementation by the Netherlands of its manure management policy suffered some set-backs leading to a situation where there were concerns over possible fraud. This situation required the Netherlands to step up its efforts in preventing fraud in the implementation of its manure policy. While the 6th Dutch Action Programme, already provides for measures aimed at reinforcing the control and inspections with a view to improving overall compliance with the rules of the Dutch manure policy, additional efforts were needed to be deployed to foster effective implementation and full compliance. Those efforts included the establishment of an enhanced enforcement strategy, with specific measures aiming at further strengthening inspections and controls and a clear methodology to establish sufficiently dissuasive penalties and sanctions.

The proportion non-compliances upon inspection has increased. This may be linked to the risk-based approach introduced in 2018.

Designation of NVZ

Netherlands has adopted a whole territory approach.

Forecast of Water Quality

A national analysis of water quality was carried out with the purpose of drawing up the packages of measures for the next round of the river basin management plans (2022-2027) for the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The conclusion of the analysis is that as a result of the existing and proposed measures, the model calculations indicate a steady improvement of the biological WFD standards. Compared to the situation in 2018, this improvement, together with technical adjustments to the standards, leads to an increase in the number of waters in which the biological standards are met.

However, according to the model calculations, the planned measures will not achieve all targets everywhere: the share of regional waters that will be compliant by 2027 is between 30 and 60% for biological standard; for fresh national waters, the target range is calculated at almost 100%. The analysis also shows that the WFD standards will not be met everywhere for nutrients either.

According to national analysis, the measures of the sixth Nitrate Action Program show a limited effect on the national load from agriculture. The mandatory measures are deployed in a targeted manner, targeting specific sectors and areas, and therefore do not have national coverage; this means that the effect can be greater regionally or locally. This picture is in line with the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment of measures from the sixth action program.


Summary

Figure 18. The summary plot for the period 2016-2019

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Is not possible to perform a long term analysis due to errors in the previous reporting periods.

Conclusions and recommendations

The Netherlands has a very high livestock pressure, and a high surplus of nitrogen. The phosphorus surplus remains limited.

There is a well elaborated network of monitoring stations. There are groundwater hotspots with nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l and/or have an increasing trend, in particular in the southern and central sand regions and in the loess region. A very high number of the surface waters are found to be eutrophic.

The Netherlands reviewed its action programme 2018.

The Commission recommends the Netherlands to reinforce it action programme to reduce nitrate pollution in particular in the ground waters of the sand and loess regions, to tackle eutrophication and to support farmers switching to more sustainable and less intensive production

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Poland’s utilised agricultural area is around 14 Mha, representing 47% of the total land area and has remained stable since 2010. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services and secondary activities include in a decreasing order milk (16.3%), poultry (12.4%) and pigs (11.4%).

Eurostat

Major land use statistics for Poland

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Poland’s arable land has remained stable since 2010, while permanent grassland and crops decreased since 2013.

Animal distribution in Poland

Poland’s live bovine and poultry have increased since 2013. The livestock density index decreased from 2010 and it is slightly lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)

Water Quality Monitoring

Poland has a State Environmental Monitoring system from which data is used for reporting on the implementation of the Directive. Concerning groundwater, the large majority of the stations have reported data for 2 and 4 years. For surface waters, concentrations are mostly available for one or two years. The frequency of sampling is determined in the Regulation of the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation on the forms and methods of monitoring surface water bodies and groundwater bodies.

For groundwater and surface water measurements, some stations have same coordinates due to different depths. In this case, the average values cover different measurements in time, but also location. In maps providing the spatial distribution of monitoring points, it is not possible to distinguish stations with the same coordinates: for NO3 concentration, the average value is shown; for trends and trophic status the worst case was considered.

It is noteworthy that in some cases in the bar charts the total value can differ from 100% due to rounding errors.

Groundwater quality monitoring network

Table 3. Number of GW stations with measurements and trends per type

Surface water quality monitoring network

Table 4. Number of SW stations with measurements, trends and trophic status per type

Note: Monitoring network for eutrophication also include 23 marine stations, not analysed in the current reporting period.

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 3. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 4. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Groundwater average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 5. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 6. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Groundwater hotspot

Figure 7. GW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l.

Groundwater stations removed

Figure 8. GW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by groundwater type (lower graph).

Surface Water Quality

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration

Figure 9. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual concentration (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of concentration by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 10. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual concentration (x axis)

Surface water average annual nitrate concentration trend

Figure 11. Spatial distribution of average NO3 annual trends (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of trends by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 12. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of average NO3 annual trends (x axis)

Surface Water Eutrophication

Figure 13. Spatial distribution of eutrophic status (map) and corresponding percentage of monitoring points per classes of status by reporting period (x axis). The percentages below 5% are not labelled, see the next plot for more information.

Figure 14. Comparison of percentage of monitoring points in the three reporting periods by classes of status (x axis)

The Eutrophic status vs average NO3 annual concentration

Figure 15. The SW monitoring stations with eutrophic status versus the average NO3 annual concentration.

Eutrophication in surface waters is determined based on the results of the assessment carried out by GIOŚ (Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection). The assessment is based on a classification of selected ecological status/potential indicators on a scale of 1-5. The bioindicators analyses include phytoplankton, phytobentos while the physico-chemical indicators used include water transparency, dissolved oxygen, BOD5, nitrite, nitrate, total nitrogen, phosphate and total phosphorus. The threshold values for quality classes of the above indicators in surface waters are specified in the Regulation of the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation on the classification of ecological status, ecological potential and chemical status and the method of classification of the state of surface water bodies, as well as environmental quality standards for priority substances. The final eutrophication class, also on a scale of 1-5, is determined on the basis of the indicator classified as worst. About 24% of rivers and 32% of the monitored lakes were classified as eutrophic. About 95% of transitional and coastal waters were classified as eutrophic. Due to a change in the methodology to assess the eutrophication status during the current reporting period, there is no possibility to compare the results with the assessment of the previous reporting period.

Table 5. Summary of SW stations by classes of trophic status and type.

Note: Monitoring network for eutrophication also include 23 marine stations, not analysed in the current reporting period

Surface Water quality hotspot

Figure 16. SW hotspot analysis map (top graph) and distribution by NUTS2 (lower graph) of average NO3 annual concentration greater than 40 mg/l and trophic status.

Surface Water Stations Removed

Figure 17. SW removed stations map (top graph) and distribution by surface water type (lower graph).

Measures in the Action Programme

The current Code of Good Agricultural Practice (CGAP) was developed in 2019 pursuant to the requirements of Article 103 of the Act of 20 July 2017 – the Water Law (J.L. of 2020, item 310, as amended). The Code also replaces Part H (Concise code of good agricultural practice for the purposes of implementation of the Nitrates Directive) of the 2004 Code of Good Agricultural Practice. The CGAP was developed for voluntary application and as such is not subject to control.

The Action Programme (AP) was published for the first time on 12/07/2018 and was recently revised on 12/02/2020. In July 2017, a country-wide approach was adopted in Poland, and the Action Programme became applicable in the entire country in July 2018.

Due to changes in the Polish law from the year 2016, affecting the implementation of the Nitrates Directive and referred to in Subchapter 2.5. Review of NVZs, a number of consecutive Action Programmes were applied in the reporting period 2016-2019. In particular, in the reporting period 2016-2019, there are new legal provisions in force to implement the Action Programme. List of Regulations introducing Action Programmes for NVZs applicable until July 2017 are listed in table 4.3 of the MS report and the list of national laws directly or indirectly implementing the requirement of Nitrates Directive are reported in table 4.6.

The changes implemented in the new AP are broken down into relevant actions: technical concerning a change in requirements, substantial concerning an extension of the obligated entities, and spatial concerning a change in the areas of application of the Action Programme. The details of AP are reported in the following table.

The cost effectiveness of the implementation of AP activities was based on shared ARiMR (Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture) data on the value of co-financing programs for activities aiding the implementation of the Nitrates Directive, and a cost estimate of advisory and training activities based on information from provincial Agricultural Advisory Centres (ODR), the Agricultural Advisory Centre (CDR) and data from specific literature. The cost effectiveness, shows that the average cost of reduction of total N from agricultural sources reaching the Baltic Sea from Poland in the years 2016-2019 was EUR 6.23/kg N, i.e. PLN 26.53 at the exchange rate of EUR 1 = PLN 4.2585.



Table 6. Details of the Action Programme



Controls

The evaluation of implementation of practices in the field was conducted with respect to key measures used in the Action Programme for the entire territory of the country. The inspections were carried out by Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARiMR) and Voivodship inspectorates for environmental protection (WIOŚ) for each year in the period 2016-2019. It should be noted that during the reported period 2016-2019 there was a change of the scope of inspections. It was a result of introducing the whole territory approach and a new Action Programme in 2018 which established new measures for majority of the farmers. The ARiMR inspections are carried out for the purpose of cross-compliance in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy. The infringements found during inspections mainly related to fertiliser storage, where fertilisers were not stored correctly or the capacity and design of storage facilities was incorrect, as well as the specified application periods and fertiliser dosage. In addition, the lack of a nitrogen fertilisation plan or failure to apply it was a common problem among farms where infringements were found.

Designation of NVZ

Poland has adopted the action program throughout whole its territory and is exempted from designating Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.

Forecast of Water Quality

The forecast of future water quality was made by extrapolation of the evolution of water quality derived from current monitoring. The analysis shows that in 96% monitoring points for river and 98% monitoring points for lake for which a trend could be determined, annual nitrate averages in 2024 will not exceed 2 mg NO3/l. For rivers, forecast values for 2024 do not exceed 25 mg NO3/l. For groundwater the analysis shows that in 87% of the monitoring points for which a trend could be determined, annual nitrate averages in 2024 will not exceed 25 mg NO3/l. It is estimated that about 5% of groundwater monitoring points will exceed 50 mg/l in 2024.



Summary

This plot provides in the first row the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l with respect to the total stations with measures and the percentage of eutrophic SW stations with respect to the total for which the trophic status is reported. In the second row, the percentage of stations exceeding 50 mg/l that are outside NVZ with respect to the total of stations exceeding 50 mg/, and the percentage of SW eutrophic stations that are outside NVZ with respect to the total that are eutrophic.



Long term analysis

Figure 19. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for groundwater stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Figure 20. Time series of box whisker plots along with the distribution of the average NO3 annual concentrations for each reporting period, for surface water stations. RPs represent the reporting periods, RP7 being the last period (2016-2019). The blue, red, green and black dots represent the mean of the fourth third, second and first quartiles, respectively.

Conclusions and recommendations

The livestock density is close to the EU average and the net nitrogen and phosphorus surplus slightly above the EU average.

There is a well elaborated network of monitoring stations. The groundwater quality is generally good, with some hotspots having a nitrate concentration > 50 mg/l. A very high number of surface waters are found to be eutrophic. Eutrophication is affecting both inland and marine waters.

The action programme was revised in 2018.

The Commission recommends that Poland reinforces its action programme to tackle the eutrophication issues for both inland and marine waters for which the agriculture pressure is significant.

Top

Brussels, 11.10.2021

SWD(2021) 1001 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2016–2019

{COM(2021) 1000 final}


Pressure from Agriculture

Portugal’s utilized agricultural area amounts to 3.6 Mha, representing 40% of the total land area. The major outputs of the agricultural industry excluding services include in a decreasing order fruit (19.3%), vegetables and horticultural plants (16.6%) and other crops (14.9%).

Major land use statistics for Portugal

Table 1.Utilized agricultural area (abbreviated as UAA)

Portugal’s arable land has decreased from the last reporting period by 14%. Permanent grassland, crops and kitchen gardens remained stable.

Animal distribution in Portugal

Portugal has seen an increase in all livestock numbers. Consequently, the livestock density index has increased by 8.9% since 2013. The livestock intensity index is lower than the EU average of 0.8.

Table 2. Livestock statistics

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers and surplus (kg/ha UAA)

Figure 1. N and P fertilizers and gross surplus (kg/ha)

The N and P mineral fertilizer, manure and gross nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) surpluses originate from EUROSTAT data for the years 2000-2017, while for years 2018-2019 from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The consumption of inorganic N during the last reporting period is lower than that of the previous. The consumption of inorganic P fertilizer has increased by 13%. Both N and P from manure have increased since the last reporting period. The N surplus continues to increase since 2010. The phosphorus surplus is higher than that of the previous reporting period. In the plots: N/P min and N/P man are respectively the N/P mineral fertilizers and N/P manure.

Livestock unit - LSU /ha

Figure 2. Map of livestock unit distribution in the Continent part, year 2016 (Source: Eurostat, February 2021)