Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs

2012 Edition
| Editors: Lars Bengtsson, Reginald W. Herschy, Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Eutrophication in Fresh Waters: An International Review

  • Malcolm Farley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4410-6_79

Definition and Introduction

Aquatic eutrophication: from the Greek “eutrophia”, meaning “well nourish”.

Eutrophication is defined by the European Commission, in the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive as:

The enrichment of water by nutrients, especially compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, causing an accelerated growth of algae and higher forms of plant life to produce an undesirable disturbance to the balance of organisms and the quality of the water concerned.

In a foreword to its report on Water Quality: The Impact of Eutrophication, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) notes that:

Eutrophication is one of the most widespread environmental problems of inland waters, and is their unnatural enrichment with two plant nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen. Such changes can destroy wildlife habitats and interfere with a range of water uses from recreation to the production of drinking water.

Origin of the concept of eutrophication in fresh waters

The idea of eutrophication...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Malcolm Farley AssociatesAlvescotUK