In a recent estimation of the quantitative importance of diffuse and point sources on the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of surface waters in both parts of Germany just before the reunification, the share of the diffuse sources on the total input was found very similar in the case of N (56 and 57%), but different in the case of P (42% in the old FRG and 33% in the former GDR). The diffuse N and P inputs are dominated by the joint pathways ground water/drain water and soil erosion/surface run off, respectively. The reduction of the diffuse pollution potential until 1995 (compared to 1987/89) is estimated with about 18% for N and 30% for P. This is far below the governmental target of a 50% reduction in the period 1985 to 1995.

The reasons, why the up-to-now success of the different countermeasures against diffuse water pollution with N and P from agriculture is still unsatisfactory are discussed. Demands for an accelerated implementation of efficient countermeasures have to be addressed by both farmers and politicians.

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