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How polluted are waters from diffuse nitrogen inputs? Modeled values (FOEN)

Nitrogen inputs into waters represent an undesirable pollution load. Under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), Switzerland agreed to reduce the nitrogen load flowing into the Rhine from Switzerland by 50% of 1985 levels. This target has not yet been met.

03.06.2021 | www.geo.admin.ch

ch.bafu.gewaesserschutz-diffuse_eintraege_stickstoff

Link to the map: map.geo.admin.ch

Swiss waters continue to be polluted with nitrogen inputs. A total of around 51,000 t of nitrogen enter Switzerland's waters from diffuse sources each year. Nitrogen inputs to water bodies were calculated using the MODIFFUS substance flow model across all diffuse input sources (arable land, permanent grassland, forest, glaciers, green settlement areas, etc.) and input pathways (soil erosion, leaching, runoff, drainage, atmospheric deposition, etc.).

The map shows the summed losses per land use category in the hectare grid, based on the area statistics 2004/09. Average climatic conditions were used as a basis, and the reference year is 2010. These modelled values are not the same as measured values in water bodies, as they do not take into account the transformation and deposition processes both in the landscape and in the water body itself. The results can be interpreted for hydrological or administrative units of 50 km2 or more, but not for individual pixels.

Further information on the topic of nitrogen inputs into waters: Website FOEN

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