This project investigated how climate change might affect eutrophication risk in rivers across England. Reductions in river flow because of climate change could directly affect the concentration of nutrients and the risk of eutrophication.
Phosphorus is considered the primary driver of eutrophication and this study looked at how future changes in river flow may alter the dilution of phosphorus as a first step to understanding wider eutrophication risk. Changes in phosphorus concentrations during the summer and low flow periods were shown to have greater rates of increase than annual averages.
The work has resulted in a national scale picture of flow related changes in phosphorus concentrations and indicates where we might need to target intervention to meet phosphorus standards in the future.