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Water Quality and Agriculture

Meeting the Policy Challenge

image of Water Quality and Agriculture

Improving water quality is consistently ranked as a top environmental concern in OECD public opinion surveys. The key challenges for policy makers in addressing water quality issues in agriculture are to reduce water pollution while encourage benefits, such as maintaining aquatic life. This book examines linking policies, farm management and water quality. It looks at recent trends and prospects for water pollution from agriculture and the implications of climate change. It assesses the costs and benefits of agriculture's impact on water systems, and presents a series of case studies. Finally the report provides a set of recommendations for countries for meeting the challenge of improving agricultural water quality.

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OECD policy experiences in addressing water quality issues in agriculture

There are a vast number of policy instrument and policy mixes that OECD countries are using in their programmes to address water quality issues in agriculture. It is outside the reach of this report to provide a comprehensive assessment of these programmes, instead this chapter focuses on a number of illustrative policy case studies of how some OECD countries are addressing different aspects of water quality in agriculture, including: addressing nitrate pollution from agriculture in the European Union; restoring the Chesapeake Bay in the United States; reducing salinity in Australian agriculture; experimenting with water quality trading in New Zealand; improving research on diffuse source pollution in France and the United Kingdom; reforming governance to address social concerns with water quality in New Zealand; addressing transborder pollution control for countries surrounding the Baltic Sea; and establishing co-operative agreements in France, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States to address diffuse source pollution.

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