The Schelde estuary is heavily polluted with many different (micro)pollutants. This results in high concentrations in the abiotic and biotic compartments of the Schelde estuary and in various effects. the present day suboxic and anoxic conditions in the upper estuary are probably responsible for the high distribution coefficients for some trace metals in the lower Schelde estuary (Western Schelde). a future reduction in discharges with a high biological oxygen demand will therefore not only result in higher oxygen concentrations, but probably also in lower distribution coefficients for trace metals in the Western Schelde. Simulations show that lower trace metal distribution coefficients will probably result in higher concentrations of dissolved (bioavailable) trace metals, even with substantially reduced discharge rates, due to the desorption of trace metals from resuspended bottom sediments.