Leo J.M. Boumans

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

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Publications (5)10.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The European Community asks its Member States to provide a comprehensive and coherent overview of their groundwater chemical status. It is stated that simple conceptual models are necessary to allow assessments of the risks of failing to meet quality objectives. In The Netherlands two monitoring networks (one for agriculture and one for nature) are operational, providing results which can be used for an overview. Two regression models, based upon simple conceptual models, link measured nitrate concentrations to data from remote sensing images of land use, national forest inventory, national cattle inventory, fertiliser use statistics, atmospheric N deposition, soil maps and weather monitoring. The models are used to draw a nitrate leaching map and to estimate the size of the area exceeding the EU limit value in the early 1990s. The 95% confidence interval for the fraction nature and agricultural areas where the EU limit value for nitrate (50 mg/l) was exceeded amounted to 0.77-0.85 while the lower 97.5% confidence limit for the fraction agricultural area where the EU limit value was exceeded amounted to 0.94. Although the two conceptual models can be regarded as simple, the use of the models to give an overview was experienced as complex.
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 03/2008; 137(1-3):243-9. · 1.68 Impact Factor
  • Leo J M Boumans, Dico Fraters, Gerard Van Drecht
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    ABSTRACT: The Dutch National Monitoring Programme for Effectiveness of the Minerals Policy (LMM) was initiated to allow detection of a statutory reduction in nitrate leaching caused by a decreasing N load. The starting point, or baseline, was taken as the nitrate concentration of the upper metre of groundwater sampled on 99 farms in the 1992-1995 period in the sandy areas of the Netherlands, where predominantly grass and maize grow. We found here that a reduction in nitrate leaching of more than 20% in future would almost certainly be detected with the LMM. Detecting downward trends due to decreasing N load will require nitrate concentrations to also be related to soil drainage, precipitation excess leading to groundwater recharge and to location. Furthermore, we found that about 16% of the N load in the Dutch sandy regions was being leached to the upper metre of groundwater in the 1992-1995 period. The critical N load in approximately 1990 for exceeding the EC limit value for nitrate, NO3, (50 mg L(-1)) in the upper metre of groundwater for the mean situation for grassland, maize and arable land in the sandy area was found to be 210 kg ha(-1) a(-1). Because manure management has been altered, the critical load found will be lower than the current critical load.
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 04/2005; 102(1-3):225-41. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic increase in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition in nature areas results in nitrate leaching to groundwater, threatening its quality. Member states of the European Union are obliged to reduce groundwater nitrate concentrations and to monitor this reduction. The relationship between N deposition and groundwater nitrate concentrations is quantified using a field survey and geographical information. Nitrate concentrations of the uppermost metre of groundwater in nature areas in the sandy regions in 1990 were related to geographical data by means of regression analysis. In this way nitrate concentrations could be explained by potential ammonia deposition, soil type, vegetation and land use. We found that about 35% of 54 kg ha(-1) a(-1) atmospheric N deposition was leached to the upper groundwater as nitrate, resulting in a mean NO3 concentration of about 30 mg L(-1). The critical N load for exceeding the EC limit value (50 mg L(-1)) in the sandy regions of The Netherlands composed of natural vegetation will be about 80 kg ha(-1) a(-1). Leaching is less than expected for nature areas but comparable with leaching of N surpluses in pastures in The Netherlands. A reduction in nitrate leaching by 25% or more can currently be detected via a new field survey.
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 04/2004; 93(1-3):1-15. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the results of the Dutch monitoring program for agriculture in the clay regions for the period 1996-2000 and evaluates the monitoring strategy. A wide range of farms (25 to 85%) had a NO3--N concentration in tile drainwater higher than the EU standard of 11.3 mg/l. The low figure is related to wet winters; the high, to dry winters. Arable farms are more prone to NO3- leaching than dairy farms. On arable farms, about 25% of the N surplus leached to groundwater and tile drainwater, on dairy farms this was about 15%. N in tile drainwater has shown to be the best indicator for monitoring the effects of farming practice changes in the clay regions. The average NO3--N concentration in tile drainwater was 18.8 and 3.2 mg/l in borehole water on farms where both were monitored. It is known that N use has a relationship with NO3- in tile drainwater and not with NH4+ and organic N. The presented results indicate that crop rotation and precipitation strongly influence NO3- concentration in tile drainwater.
    The Scientific World Journal 12/2001; 1 Suppl 2:758-66. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Nitrate Directive of the European Communities sets goals for preventing pollution and reducing existing nitrate concentrations in groundwater. Establishment of an action program is one of the obligations Member States have, to ensure the reduction of nitrate leaching and runoff. The effectiveness of the action program by Member States must be determined by regular monitoring of such items as groundwater quality. The study documented here regarding the Dutch effort within this action program, was aimed at quantifying both the nitrate concentration in shallow groundwater of the sandy regions of the Netherlands and the land area where the EC limit value is exceeded. Since shallow groundwater quality is influenced by variation in precipitation, nitrate concentrations were adjusted to be representative for average precipitation. Using monitoring results and geographical information, we calculated that the EC limit value (LV) of 50 mg l−1 for nitrate in groundwater was exceeded in 77–85% of the land area in the Netherlands' sandy regions. The LV was found to be exceeded in a calculated agricultural area of 890,000–940,000 ha (94–99% of total agricultural area), and a forest and heath area of 60,000–86,000 ha (21–30% of total forest and heath areas).
    Environmental Pollution 01/1998; 102(1-102):479-485. · 3.90 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

78 Citations
10.16 Total Impact Points


  • 1998–2008
    • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2005
    • PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
      's-Gravenhage, South Holland, Netherlands