This paper shows that the use of a few developed applications of the environmental accounts can provide a useful basis to understand and analyse several strategies to reduce emissions to water. This paper presents figures for emissions to water embodied in imports and exports attributed to different European and non-European countries. Also the effects of volume growth, composition change and technology change are quantified for the different trade flows at country level. The applications illustrate the advantages of using integrated data on emissions to water and economic variables for the years 1996 and 2007 in the Netherlands. Copyright © 2010 Statistics Netherlands. Journal Compilation © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.