According to a new large-scale modelling study, reconnecting cut-off water bodies and floodplains with the Danube River and its tributaries could aid nitrate removal and contribute to water quality improvements.
Flowing through 10 countries in central and eastern Europe, the Danube river basin has long been affected by elevated nitrate (NO3) levels, from agricultural run-off and other sources, causing eutrophication. Although levels are improving, nutrient pollution means that more than a fifth of surface-water bodies in the Danube river basin are at risk of failing good ecological status by 2027, as required by the Water Framework Directive.
Restoration of floodplains has the potential to increase the capacity of this ecosystem service, and is considered in the 2021 management plan for the Danube river basin. Read the full study to learn more.