Point and Diffuse Loads of Selected Pollutants in the River Rhine and Its Main Tributaries

Behrendt, H. & Boehme, M. (1992). Point and Diffuse Loads of Selected Pollutants in the River Rhine and Its Main Tributaries. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-92-015

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The research described in this working paper was conducted for the study "Sources of Chemical Pollution in the Rhine Basin," a collaborative effort between IIASA and the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM). The goal of the study was to determine, by mass balance analysis, the inputs and outputs to the Rhine Basin over the time period 1950-2010. Particular attention was given to "cradle-to-grave" analysis in which the pollutants are traced from their pathways through the industrial economy and into the environment. For the historical analysis, it was necessary to estimate emissions from various industrial sectors (point sources) and runoff from urban, agricultural and forested lands (diffuse sources). The analysis is hindered, however, by the scarcity of historical data on sources of emission. On the other hand, the Rhine River has been intensively monitored for heavy metals since the early 1970s, and for nutrients and other hydrological parameters since the 1950s. These data provide a basis for making reasonable estimates of inputs to the river in previous decades. Prior to the analysis presented herein, no comprehensive investigation of the long-term time series of chemical loads to the river had been undertaken. This working paper not only quantifies the total loads of the various chemicals over time. It also subdivides the loads into the point-source and diffuse fractions, applying a new methodology developed by the senior author of this paper. With the estimates provided here, it is possible to calibrate the emission factors assumed for industrial and diffuse sources. The paper thus makes an invaluable contribution of the major goals of the study.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Environmental Change & Development (ECD)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3683

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