Monitoring Plastics in Rivers and Lakes
Guidelines for Harmonization of Methodologies
Plastic debris is present in all ecosystems. Research, societal awareness and action have long focused on marine plastics. Current knowledge suggests that most marine plastics originate from land-based sources. Monitoring programmes are needed for assessing the state of and trends of plastic contamination in freshwater systems such as rivers and lakes as well as the role of rivers for connecting land-based plastic sources with the marine environment. They are also needed to achieve target 14.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals: “By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.
The purpose of this report is to provide guidelines for the monitoring of plastic contamination in freshwater environments including rivers, lakes, drinking water and waste water.
Water management and water protection face various challenges due to climate change, globalization, substance inputs and demographic change. Consistent and strategic action is required in order to ensure sustainable use of our water resources in all relevant sectors of use in the medium and long term, to support the natural water balance and the ecological development of our waterbodies, and to improve the handling of extreme events in urban and rural areas. For this purpose, the BMU presented the draft of the National Water Strategy on June 8th, 2021. The UBA text 86/2021 attached (in German with English summary) compiles the technical and scientific background for selected focal points of the National Water Strategy.