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European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

Map of the Week – River runoff trends

News article |

This week, 13,000 people met online in the framework of World Water Week 2021 on the theme ‘Building Resilience Faster’. The event opened on 23 August with calls for massive transformations of our societies. [1] Over 400 sessions were organized on a very wide range of topics to address the following 5 key challenges:  ‘Building Resilient and Fair Societies’, ‘Working Together with Nature’, ‘Investing in Systemic Change’, ‘Transforming our Value Chains’ and ‘Rethinking our Cities’. [2] The programme highlighted the importance of water and the interlinkages between water, climate change, biodiversity, food systems and global health.

The Map of the Week focuses on the links between freshwater and the ocean and seas by looking at river runoff trends. Runoff is the movement of land water (in the form of rivers, lakes, streams) to the seas and oceans. When it comes to water, everything is linked through the water cycle. At the European level, key policies address water - including in particular the Water Framework Directive - while the Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to protect the marine environment. The Water Information System for Europe - WISE - is the European information gateway to water issues.

During the EU4Ocean event ‘Supporting Ocean Literacy in the Baltic- EU4Ocean “Let’s make the Baltic Sea Blue” on 26-27 August 2021, speakers pointed out that what happens on land impacts the ocean and seas. This is illustrated, for example, by the fact that large quantities of litter are transported from land to the sea by rivers. [3]

What can you do?

  • Explore the Map of the week to learn about river runoff trends.
  • Explore the website of the World Water Week 2021 to learn about the main outcomes of the week.
  • Watch the recording of the “Let’s make the Baltic Sea Blue” event to learn about ocean literacy in the Baltics.
  • Discover the events organized in the framework of the 2021 EU Beach Cleanup campaign and get involved. As large volumes of litter on beaches come from land, we can all act either at the beach, along local rivers or at home through waste prevention.
  • Submit your pledge for the ocean in the Make Europe Blue campaign.


Access the map

The data in this map are provided by EMODnet.