What We Do - The Shared Waters project

We study how much the phosphorus load from agriculture contributes to eutrophication and how the load might be reduced. The aim is to develop concrete recommendations to improve the knowledge base and regulation of agricultural nutrient load.

The reduction of eutrophication caused by agriculture has proven to be challenging everywhere in the world. The topic has been studied in dozens of projects in Finland as well. On their basis a picture has emerged on the most relevant knowledge gaps. We will examine these shadow areas. The array of methods in the research ranges from laboratory tests and mathematical modelling to the monitoring of drainage areas. Moreover, we will look into the possibilities of setting up a digital data system which would provide access to significant information pertaining to run-off of nutrients from individual farms. In addition to the challenges of technical viability, there are aspects of law and acceptability to consider. The study is being conducted in an open manner, with discussions involving both stakeholders and farmers.

Telling about the In the Shared Waters project is the head of the project Petri Ekholm.


Petri Ekholm
Leader of the Shared Waters project
The Finnish Environment Institute


Leena Rantajärvi
Communications Specialist

Marianna Korpi
Graphic Designer

Shared Waters is a three-year project. The goal is that its results would enable the drafting of concrete recommendations on ways to reduce eutrophication of water caused by agriculture, for example on how different water protection methods could complement each other in the most cost-effective manner. The recommendations will draw attention to how they would be beneficial also from the point of view of agricultural production.

You can find more detailed descriptions of the three working packages of the project on the subpages. The first work package involves studying the possibilities of establishing a common database for phosphorus from farms. The focus in the second work package is on how tillage affects the losses of dissolved and particulate phosphorus, and how a large proportion of particulate phosphorus may become algal-available after sedimentation. In the third work package we examine how farming methods and drainage practices affect the load on waters.

Funding for the project is provided by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and it includes researchers from the Finnish Environment Institute, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the University of Helsinki, and the Pyhäjärvi Institute.

Published 2019-11-08 at 9:59, updated 2019-11-08 at 9:57
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