Water and Agriculture

Sustainability, Markets and Policies

image of Water and Agriculture

Agriculture is a major user of water and is responsible for much of its pollution. But the agricultural sector faces increasing competition for scarce water supplies from urban and industrial users and, increasingly, to sustain ecosystems.  This conference proceedings explores how both governments and the private sector can expand the role of markets to allocate water used by all sectors and to get agricultural producers to account for the pollution that their sector generates.



Allocation of Costs and Benefits in the Water Framework Directive

A Dutch Exploration

Different sectors in the Netherlands, not least agriculture, have a steep hill to climb to meet the requirements for implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Considerable investments in water (quality) management are expected in the coming decade. The search for sustainable development possibilities for all sectors involved in this process dominates the discussion in the process of an economic analysis within the WFD implementation. The Netherlands strives for providing possibilities and perspective for many different activities within a small area. To prevent a disproportionate burden being placed on a particular sector it is important to strike the best possible balance between the various interests in rural areas, such as nature management and agriculture, and divide the costs associated with implementation of the WFD proportionally between the different players. A Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) where nature and environment are included illustrates the consequences for wealth in the Netherlands of implementing the measures to realise the goals of the WFD, but does not illustrate consequences for cost allocation. Via analyses of the separate items, it will be possible to gain insight into this matter. Ultimately, determining which measures are best suited to the implementation of the WFD and decisions on cost allocation, based on the results of a Social Cost Benefit Analysis and a Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA), is a matter of political choice.


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