Last updated (d-m-y): 12-09-2007. For comments please contact:



The accelerated nutrient enrichment or eutrophication of surface waters has become a significant environmental problem in many developed countries. The extent of eutrophication in freshwaters is most commonly related to the concentration of phosphorus and agriculture has been identified as a significant phosphorus source. Identification of mitigation options to reduce phosphorus inputs to water, in line with EU initiatives (PARCOM), requires a sound knowledge base of the significance of agriculture as an eutrophication source.

In July 1997 an EU COST (Co-operation in Science and Technology) Action was started to:
(I) develop a common technical understanding of the processes, forms and pathways of P loss in land run-off, and
(ii) develop a methodological framework for identifying the relative contribution of different diffuse P sources at the farm and catchment level.
These aims will be achieved through definition of conceptual models of P cycling in EU agricultural systems, P transfer in surface and sub-surface run-off at a range of scales and impacts of diffuse P on surface water quality.

In March 1998, 16 countries had joined the Action, which finished in July 2003. Working groups developed four major themes:



Phosphorus cycling in agriculture

Dr. J. Destain, Belgium

Phosphorus losses at the field scale

Dr. O. Schoumans, Netherlands

Phosphorus losses at the catchment scale

Dr. B. Kronvang, Denmark

Impacts of diffuse phosphorus on water quality

Dr. S. Orfanidis, Greece

Key subject areas included terminology, sampling and analytical procedures, principles of fertilizer and feed recommendations, soil inorganic and organic P release, erosion, leaching, incidental loss, P loss risk assessment, hydrological pathways, scaling issues, approaches to modelling P loss and future research needs.

For further information please contact either Mr Paul Withers (President) or Dr Wim Chardon (Vice-President). Scientific Secretary of COST Action 832 was Ir. Bouktje Stol.

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An overview of the most recent updates (d-m-y):

12-09-07: List added of publications from final meeting in Cambridge (2003)
12-09-07: List added of publications from WG1 + WG2 meeting in Zurich (2002)
12-09-07: Pdf added of abstracts of final meeting in Cambridge (2003)
28-05-06: Pdf added of papers from COST 832 meetings in Cordoba (1999) and Irdning (2000), see "publications"
10-12-02: New name of Scientific Secretary (Ir. B.E.M. Stol) in Brussels added
24-09-01: web-address of COST Brussels renewed
23-08-00: address of dr. Bollmann added
29-03-00: New name of Scientific Secretary (Dr. J. Bollmann) in Brussels added
29-03-00: Book announcement: Proceedings Confer. 'Regulation of animal production in Europe', see publications
29-03-00: New web-adres for COST homepage Brussels, see link on main menu in this file
22-02-00: List of 21 papers presented in Antrim, published in J. Environ. Qual. 29 (1), see publications
21-02-00: Book announcement: Agriculture and P management: The Chesapeake Bay, see publications
25-01-00: Several announcements of meetings added, see future related meetings
25-01-00: Minutes of WG1 Technical Committee Meeting in Zurich added, see past Cost meetings
25-01-00: New version of Minutes of the 2nd WG1 Meeting in Cordoba added, see past Cost meetings
18-01-00: Draft program of the 2000 WG4 meeting in Helsinki added, see future COST meetings
12-01-00: Names of files were changed, since problems occurred with the Netscape browser
11-01-00: Draft program of the 2000 WG2 meeting in Austria added, see future COST meetings
11-01-00: Report technical meeting WG2, November 1999, added, see past Cost meetings
24-11-99: Minutes of the 2nd WG1 Meeting in Cordoba were added, see past Cost meetings
21-05-99: Draft minutes of the 3rd Management Committee Meeting were added, see past Cost meetings
05-05-99: Abstracts added of posters for Cordoba, see future Cost meetings
15-02-99: Announcement of meetings MC and WG1 and WG2, May 1999, see future Cost meetings
18-01-99: Minutes 2nd Management Committee Meeting were added, see past Cost meetings
08-01-99: Report technical meeting WG1, October 1998, see past Cost meetings
15-12-98: A discussion document was added to the report of the small WG2-meeting (see 1-12-98)
01-12-98: Report small organizing meeting WG2, see past Cost meetings
10-11-98: Announcement symposium on tillage and soil erosion, see Future related meetings
05-11-98: Web site on agricultural run-off/leaching matters, see Publications
30-10-98: Information on a conference on P recycling, see Past related meetings
26-10-98: Information on Symposium Nordic Countries, see Past related meetings

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