In discussions on the various effects of climate change, effects on water quality often get little attention. This study contributed to an increased awareness on the water quality aspects of climate change by giving an overview of the current knowledge on the relation between climate change and water quality and combining this with an analysis of the water quality data of a regional water management organization in the Netherlands (Wetterskip Fryslân).
The influence of climate change on chemical and biological quality of the water is mostly related to changes in temperature and precipitation, wind fluctuation is less coherent. Notable is that the chemical and biological changes are the same for most of the water types.
Water quality monitoring data from Wetterskip Fryslân implies the next changes in chemical regime: faster eutrofication, higher chloride load in dry periods, higher nitrogen load in wet periodes and increased precipitaiton will increase phosphate concentrations.
In biological terms the higher temperatures will result in more water types dominated by Cyano Bacteria.
An important issue for future policy is reducing nitrogen and phosphate concentration in the effluent of waste water treatment plants. The current policy aiming for water systems with clear water and water vegetation can be continued. Furthermore there lays an opportunity in combining the plans for construction of retention areas in the study area with water quality related measures.