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Neumann, Dörthe, 2001. Bedömning av vattenkvalité i Sverige och Tyskland – en jämförande studie i teori och praktik. SLU, Dept. of Environmental Assessment, Uppsala. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Environmental Assessment



During the last decades increased human activities have had a large impact on
water quality of watercourses in Europe. A deterioration of water quality has mainly
been caused by agricultural and industrial activities. To keep track of the
environmental situation in watercourses continuous supervision and assessment is
needed. Achieving a standardized environmentally sustainable water quality within the
European Union requires a uniform assessment of watercourses.

To develop a uniform assessment of watercourses within the European Union
is the major task. Existing watercourse classification methods within each European
country need to be evaluated and compared. As one step of the evaluation procedure,
this study investigates and compares watercourse classification methods in Sweden
and Germany. In Sweden “Environmental Quality Criteria” are used to classify both
current status and human influence. In Germany water quality is assessed by a
biological-ecological method based on Saprobiesystem and a complex chemical index as
well as defined target values in order to assess water chemistry.

The Swedish method allows to investigate the cause of environmental
problems because every parameter is assessed separately. However, no information
about the overall water quality can be obtained. In contrast, the German chemical index
describes the overall water quality but does not assess single parameters separately.
Cause and extent of environmental problems are therefore not explicitly stated.

A case study that was part of this study shows that the German and the
Swedish watercourse classification methods give potentially different results if
evaluated for the same watercourses. The German method always classifies the
watercourses with a lower classification class that stands for a better water quality.
The results probably reflect the difference between the methods to set classification
scales and class limits used in every country. An explanation of the different classes
could be that German watercourses generally are more polluted than Swedish ones.
Both different natural conditions and different environmental problems require
different assessment methods.

If it will be possible to develop a new and uniform assessment system
throughout Europe is debatable. The investigation arrives at the conclusion that it will
be difficult to develop one appropriate system for all European countries. Considering
both large differences between existing assessment methods in the countries and
different natural conditions within Europe it will take a long time to develop an
equitable and environmentally sustainable assessment method as it is required within
the European Union.

Main title:Bedömning av vattenkvalité i Sverige och Tyskland – en jämförande studie i teori och praktik
Authors:Neumann, Dörthe
Supervisor:Weyhenmeyer, Gesa and Wallin, Mats
Series:Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Miljöanalys
Volume/Sequential designation:2001:16
Year of Publication:2001
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:Other
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Environmental Assessment
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Water resources and management
Deposited On:04 Dec 2020 13:29
Metadata Last Modified:05 Dec 2020 02:01

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