Evaluation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (Nitrates Directive)

Project: Research

Project Details


Eutrophication, caused by excess of nutrients in water, is one of the most common alterations in continental and marine waters. Its manifestations are toxic cyanobacteria blooms in lakes and rivers, and green macro algae blooms in coastal areas, cause major disturbances of aquatic ecosystems. It has an impact on human health, ecosystems and economic activities, such as fisheries and aquaculture, and tourism. Polluted drinking water from nutrients can be treated to avoid human diseases, but associated cost are passed on to consumers, in spite of the polluter pay principles. Since the 1990’s, EU legislation was designed to limit the pollution (leakages) of nutrients in air and water. The Nitrates Directive adopted in 1991 is the main EU legislation aiming to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates and by eutrophication from agricultural sources. As is the case with all EC Directives the benefits, costs and effectiveness of the Nitrates Directive now need to be evaluated. This project, in collaboration with partners, will take a structured analytical approach together with a consultation exercise to design an evaluation framework and undertake analysis and interpretation of the gathered data.
Short titleNitrates Directive Evaluation
Effective start/end date18/07/2231/01/24


  • S Agriculture (General)
  • Nitrates
  • Water pollution
  • Environmental legislation


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