6 October 2023

UFZ-Pressemitteilung | UFZ press realease



15 September 2023

GlobeWQ Webinar

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The GlobeWQ project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aimed to improve global water quality information. The webinar will present an overview of the project's results and achievements. The core product of the project, the web-based GlobeWQ platform implements the “triangulation” of data from satellite imagery, in situ observations, and model results, providing access to global and regional water quality information.

GlobeWQ Final Report "Quality Known" published

Download report (PDF | 18 MB)

11 October 2022

More than 150 years of Nitrogen surplus reconstructed in soils across Europe

Worldwide surface waters suffer from the presence of nitrogen (N) compounds causing eutrophication and deterioration of the water quality. Despite many Europe-wide legislation's, we still observe high N levels across many water bodies in Europe. Information on long-term annual soil N surplus is needed to better understand these N levels and inform future management strategies. Here, we reconstructed and analysed the annual long-term N surplus for both agricultural and non-agricultural soils across Europe at a 5 arcmin (≈10 km at the equator) spatial resolution for more than a century (1850–2019). The dataset consists of 16 N surplus estimates that account for the uncertainties resulting from input data sources and methodological choices in major components of the N surplus. We documented the consistency and plausibility of our estimates by comparing them with previous studies and discussed about possible avenues for further improvements. Importantly, our dataset offers the flexibility of aggregating the N surplus at any spatial scale of relevance to support water and land management strategies.

Publication: Batool, M., Sarrazin, F.J., Attinger, S. et al. Long-term annual soil nitrogen surplus across Europe (1850–2019). Sci Data 9, 612 (2022).

For further information please contact:
Rohini Kumar ( Department of Computational Hydrosystems,
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany

14 July 2022

New publication on the shift of of nitrate concentrations patterns since the 1950s

Long-term records show changes in the magnitude and timing of the seasonal pattern of nitrate concentrations in streams, with possibly grave effects on aquatic ecosystems. Seasonal patterns of stream nutrient concentrations are determined by a combination of nutrient inputs, transport, and turnover. Over multi-decadal periods, each of these factors may change due to socio-economic factors such as consumption patterns, governance regimes, or technological control measures. We tested the hypothesis that observed multi-decadal changes in stream nitrate seasonality could be explained by changes in the relative importance of catchment nitrate sources over time. We found that the in-stream nitrate seasonality of the River Elbe changed completely from a weak seasonal pattern with peak concentrations during summer in the 1950s to a strong seasonal pattern with peak concentrations during winter in the 1990s. We link these changes to a succession of technical and political developments which influence the contribution of point and diffuse sources over time.

Publication: Wachholz et al. 2022. Drivers of multi-decadal nitrate regime shifts in a large European catchment. Environ. Res. Lett. 17 064039.

For further information please contact:

Alexander Wachholz | Department of Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and Management,

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Magdeburg, Germany

20 September 2021

Temporary data upload implemented

If you want to compare and visualize you water quality measurements (point data)  with information products on the GlobeWQ platform, this is now possible via a temporary upload tool for uploading CSV files. Once the browser window is closed refreshed the upload data will be cleared.

06 September 2021

Monthly aggregates of Satellite Remote Sensing Water Quality Information available for Lake Victoria

Monthly aggregates of Chlorophyll-a concentration, Turbidity, Harmful Algae Bloom Indicator, Secchi Disk Depth, as well as inorganic, organic and total Absorption are now available on the GlobeWQ platform for the last 12 months and will be updated every month. The monthly aggregates provided an integral overview of the entire Lake Victoria and supplement the already available daily data.

27 August 2021

Interactive Session at the World Water Week 2021 World Water Quality – Overlooked and Undervalued

GlobeWQ contributed to the Session "World Water Quality – Overlooked and Undervalued" at the 2021 World Water Week organized by the World Water Quality Alliance. Further information and an recording of the Session here.





Improving water quality is one of the major societal challenges worldwide and consequently a key issue in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (especially Sustainability Goal 6 ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’). Strategies and measures to reach this goal require coherent determination, analysis and visualization of water quality from regional to global scales. The GlobeWQ project will deliver a prototype for such an analysis and service platform.


The main goals of GlobeWQ are thus:

  • to develop, test and – in exemplary ways – apply an integrated and cross-scale analysis and evaluation methodology for water quality of surface and groundwaters;
  • to provide novel data synthesis of in-situ measured, modelled and remote sensing based information;
  • to identify existing and developing threats to water security with focus on water quality.


GlobeWQ is embedded in the World Water Quality Alliance led by the UN Environment Programme with the challenging task to compile a World Water Quality Assessment by 2023 on current and future freshwater quality. The GlobeWQ project is a direct continuation of the pre-study that resulted in a snapshot of world's water quality  and a roadmap for a worldwide assessment. The GlobeWQ project is associated to the BMBF funding measure Water as a Global Resource (GRoW).


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Pilot Project to create a 'Global Water Quality Analysis and Service Platform' –

GlobeWQ   Pilotprojekt Analyse- und Service-Plattform Globale Wasserqualität

The GlobeWQ project is financed by the BMBF funding measure Water as a Global Resource (GRoW) supervised by Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA), Division for Water Technology.





Project number: 02WGR1527A

Duration: 01.10.2019 – 30.09.2022



Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Magdeburg & Leipzig

Lead: Prof. Dr. Dietrich Borchardt

Contact: Dr. Christian Schmidt

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Martina Flörke

EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG, Seefeld

Contact: Dr. Thomas Heege

Terrestris GmbH & Co. KG, Bonn

Contact: Hinrich Paulsen


Strategic Partners:

UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Contact: Dr. Hartwig Kremer

German Environment Agency (UBA)

Contact: Dr. Lilian Busse

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Dr. Stéphane Isoard

International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (UNESCO)

Contact: Dr. Philipp Saile


Program supervision on behalf of BMBF provided by Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA)



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