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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.

English

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Catchment-Sensitive Farming

Tackling Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture in England – Policies and Drivers

Diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) is a significant contributor to the longterm degradation of UK rivers, lakes and groundwaters — 70 % of nitrates and 44 % of phosphorus loads in UK surface waters comes from agriculture. Within the EC, the key driver for tackling DWPA is the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The paper discusses the approach being taken in the UK to meet the challenging targets set by WFD through Catchment-Sensitive Farming (CSF). The challenge is to identify appropriate and most cost-effective measures for tackling the impact of farming on the environment while ensuring, in the long term, a sustainable farming industry. This paper details the current policies in place including action under the EC Nitrates Directive, Environmental Stewardship Schemes under CAP and activity to encourage early voluntary action by farmers (CSF Delivery project). Details of the complementary work being taken forward on the use of other policy instruments, such as regulation and analysis on development of an effective package of policy measures for tackling DWPA, is also discussed.

English

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