One of the major water protection problems is progressive eutrophication of water bodies expressed e.g. by higher trophic status and increased content of nitrogen and phosphorous in rivers, lakes, and the coastal sea of Gulf of Riga, both on Estonian and Latvian side. Diminished water quality impacts of water use for e.g. recreation, irrigation and production of potable water, as well as a habitat for water bodies.
The objective of the project is twofold:
- to develop, test and promote a novel methodology for Estimation of Daily Allowable Maximum Loads (DAML) of pollutants in order to decrease nutrient load to the Gulf of Riga;
- to involve interested parties in selected pilot areas (incl. the rivers Pärnu in Estonia and Salaca in Latvia and their tributaries) in order to reach agreements on new /more effective measures for achievement of the pollution reduction targets for these areas of the GoR.
Results of development and testing DAML will be used to trigger new and innovative cooperation arrangements among the main users of land and who are the cause of excessive nutrients. Within such cooperation arrangements it will be possible to engage all the main actors in the river basin to contribute to the nutrient reduction and implementation of measures. It will also allow for the environmental authorities to provide financial support to environmental protection measures in a more cost-effective way by targeting the main pollution sources to achieve the highest nutrient reduction.
Development and testing of DAML:
- To develop a novel methodology for the assessment of required and possible reduction in N and P riverine loads and for achieving the quality criteria set for the rivers, lakes, and the coastal sea.
- To test the developed methodology on selected pilot areas, which are influencing GoR in Latvia and Estonia.
- Analysis in the watershed to define significant pollution sources of nutrient load that helps to prepare specific mitigation measures for nutrient
Involving local stakeholders for setting pollution reduction targets:
- To involve interested parties in selected pilot areas and introduce the methodology and analysis results to stakeholders
- To foster agreements between stakeholders in pilot areas on new measures/more effective measures to achieve the pollution reduction targets for Estonia and Latvia and maximum allowable inputs of nutrients to the Estonian and Latvian marine areas of the GoR.
The project contributes to the implementation of the EUSBSR policy area "NUTRI - Reducing nutrient inputs to the sea to acceptable levels" and the achievement of the EUSBSR objective "Save the Sea".