Scenarios of nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the sea (v. mar.2019)

Collection: WPI : Water Pressure Indicators 


Spatial dataset consisting of nutrient loads and source apportionments estimated at the outlets of freshwater river basins with model GREEN (Grizzetti et al., 2012; version March 2019)

according to four European nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) management scenarios:

1. Reference – REF: historical conditions (year 2012). 2. Business as Usual – BAU: implementation of current level of investments in water protection foreseen under Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) and the Rural Development Program.   3. Nutrient Scenario – NUTR: includes a full or enhanced implementation of two EU Directives, the UWWTD for collecting and treating wastewater from urban agglomerations, and the Nitrates Directive to protect freshwater from agricultural pollution.    4. High Technically Feasible Reduction – MTFR: assumes all wastewaters in the EU are treated at the maximum level of nutrient reduction currently possible, while mineral fertilisers are applied to an optimal level.  Sources of nutrients comprise agriculture (mineral and organic fertilization), nitrogen atmospheric deposition, phosphorus releases from natural areas, scattered dwellings, and point sources (domestic and industrial discharges). Nutrients are reduced by attenuation processes in land and freshwater reaches. The river basin hydrological data model is based on Catchment Characterisation and Modelling

(Vogt et al., 2007;




  • Bruna Grizzetti
  • Olga Vigiak
  • Angel Udias Moinelo
  • Alberto Aloe
  • Michela Zanni
  • Faycal Bouraoui
  • Alberto Pistocchi
  • Chiara Dorati
  • Rene Friedland
  • Ad De Roo
  • Carlos Benitez Sanz
  • Adrian Leip
  • Maria Bielza

How to cite

Grizzetti, Bruna; Vigiak, Olga; Udias Moinelo, Angel; Aloe, Alberto; Zanni, Michela; Bouraoui, Faycal; Pistocchi, Alberto; Dorati, Chiara; Friedland, Rene; De Roo, Ad; Benitez Sanz, Carlos; Leip, Adrian; Bielza, Maria (2020): Scenarios of nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the sea (v. mar.2019). European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) [Dataset] PID:


agriculture nitrogen phosphorus waste water environmental policy

Data access

Scenarios of nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the sea (v. mar.2019) - Gis dashboard
  • Dashboard application providing informative support for scenarios of nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the sea (v. mar .2019). The application is composed of: 1. Two stacked maps (nitrogen and phosphorus) providing scale dependent drill down / roll up of reference scenario nutrient loads for sea sub region basin aggregations (continental scale) and river basin/outlets (national and regional scale). Upon mouse clicking on the map it is possible to access specific polygon attributes while, upon mouse selection (by pre-activating selection tool on upper left corner of map) it is possible to dynamically filter the two column charts. 2. Two column charts (nitrogen, phosphorus) displaying geographic aggregations of scenario loads at European level or, upon polygon selection on the maps, aggregation of selected regions. Note that selection on each map triggers filtering on both charts. Marine aggregation of river basins is based on Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) regions and sub regions as distributed by European Environment Agency (EEA). On the left side of the application, an on-demand panel provides a basic explanation about dashboard usage

Scenarios of nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the sea (v. mar.2019) - File geodatabase
  • File geodatabase distribution containing the following classes: 1. Main table class greenBasinLoadScenarios_vrsMar2019 containing load/source apportionment data 2. Feature class SEAOUTLETS containing a subset of CCM 2.1 river basin geometries to be linked to previous table class via primary/foreign key WSO_ID. Refer to item specific geodatabase metadata (also available in pdf format inside download package)


How EU policies could reduce nutrient pollution in European inland and coastal waters
Grizzetti, B., Vigiak, O., Udias, A., Aloe, A., Zanni, M., Bouraoui, F., Pistocchi, A., Dorati, C., Friedland, R., De Roo, A., Benitez Sanz, C., Leip, A., Bielza, M., 2021. How EU policies could reduce nutrient pollution in European inland and coastal waters. Global Environmental Change 69, 10228

Spatial coverage

Type Value
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<gml:Polygon xmlns:gml="">  <gml:exterior>    <gml:LinearRing>      <gml:posList>-11 71.2 51 71.2 51 32.6 -11 32.6 -11 71.2</gml:posList>    </gml:LinearRing>  </gml:exterior></gml:Polygon>
POLYGON ((-11 71.2, 51 71.2, 51 32.6, -11 32.6, -11 71.2))

Temporal coverage

From date To date
2012-01-01 2012-12-31

Additional information

Published by
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Created date
Modified date
Issued date
Data theme(s)
Agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food, Environment
Update frequency