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Water quality

Provision of clean water for present and future generations is one of the 17 UN endorsed Sustainable Development Goals, and it encompass protection of freshwater and marine water resources. Eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems has for many years been a major environmental problem in Denmark, and even though nutrient abatement has been effective in reducing the excess loads to groundwater, waterways, lakes and marine areas, eutrophication continues to represent one of the dominant environmental problem.

The achievement of good ecological status in lakes, waterways, marine areas and groundwater is considered important by the population, and it receives significant focus in Danish, as well as EU level, environmental policy.  Environmental contaminants in surface water and groundwater– constitute another important environmental pressure on the aquatic environment, and regulating past and present pollutants requires integrated research involving both natural and social science.

Research themes in this area include:

  • Integrated spatial modelling of nutrient loads to water bodies, identifying cost-effective nutrient abatement
    • Water Framework Directive: analyses and assessments of cost-effective, targeted regulation
    • Baltic Sea Action Plan
  • Valuation of aquatic ecosystem services
    • Water Framework Directive: valuation of the benefits in fresh- and marine water
    • Marine Strategy Framework Directive: costs of degradation, benefits of coasta recreation
  • Ground- and drinking water valuation
  • Climate scenarios and future needs for marine protection
  • Provision of marine ecosystem services by blue mussel cultivation and harvest