Eutrophication from agriculture and scattered settlements are major pressures on the aquatic ecosystems in the catchment of the river Susaa, the Danish pilot area in WATERPRAXIS. Moreover, the river bed conditions and the hydrological conditions in the river and in the smaller streams are at present not sufficient to ensure good ecological conditions for flora and fauna. These issues are also representative for major problems in other countries around the Baltic Sea.
The river Susaa and the two streams Fladsaa and Saltoe are located in the Naestved Municipality, with outlets to Dybsoe and Karrebaek lagoons. The river Susaa is Denmarks' 5th largest water body and the largest at Sealand. The river is 85 km long, and the river basin is approximately 850 km2. This catchment is part of the Smaalandsfarvandet water plan area in Sealand river basin district.
Several projects in the catchment area of the river Susaa have been planned by the Ministry of Environment and the Municipality of Naestved. The main aim is to improve the hydrological status of the river, and to improve the river as well as the adjacent areas as habitats and partly also as recreational areas. The river Susaa and surroundings is also an asset in terms of nature values and amenities for fishing, canoeing and enjoying the scenic beauty. A major challenge will be to obtain synergies, which contribute to the implementation of targets for the aquatic environment, while also taking other goals into consideration.
Naestved Municipality is the dominant planning authority for part of the main water catchment II,5, Smålandsfarvandet, and participates in the planning for the main water catchment II,6, Baltic Sea, in the Sealand River Basin District, see figure 1. The two catchments are subdivided into 9 sub-catchments (see figure 1), and the basis analysis produced early in the WFD process is detailed for each sub-district.
One of the measures foreseen in the Danish water plans is the establishment of wetlands for nitrogen removal. The distribution of formerly defined measures within the individual watersheds is to be decided in the water plans. One important criterion for selection of project sites is cost-effectiveness. WATERPRAXIS helps to develop methods, which can also take into consideration other benefits than water quality when selecting projects. Another criterion is to identify areas of high ability for nitrogen removal. WATERPRAXIS supports the identification of hotspots of nitrogen leaching, by refining an N-risk mapping tool, updated with recent and/or detailed local data.
Denmark is divided into 4 River Basin Districts (RBDs), which consist of 23 main catchments, as illustrated in figure 2. For each main catchment a water plan will be produced, and a summary of these plans unite to constitute the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) for the entire RBD.