Sustainable farming as a result of negotiations: An analysis at European level

Book Title: Land and Water Management: Decision Tools and Practices, Vols 1 and 2
Year Published: 2004
Month Published: NA
Author: Heinz, I
Book Group Author: NA

Water pollution caused by agriculture is an unsolved problem worldwide. The main reasons for this are intensive fanning, and difficulties in controlling non-point sources. Water suppliers especially suffer from excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers. According to new European Union(EU) regulations, farmers must comply with stricter rules. However, it is difficult to implement these regulations due to the diffuse character of non-point pollution. An EU-wide investigation showed that in many water catchments negotiations between water suppliers and farmers proved to be effective in achieving more sustainable fanning. The reasons for this are high motivation to find the most cost-effective measures(e.g. intercrops to reduce nitrate loads), and the sharing of highly specialised expertise. These factors can result in changes of farming practices by using modem agricultural equipment that is attuned to local conditions. In the Netherlands, Germany, and France the proportion of drinking water resources that are `protected' by such agreements range from around 34 % to 54 %. In respect of irrigation, negotiations can lead to more sustainable water allocation. Examples exist in Australia, Chile, France, Spain and in California, USA. Water concessons are bought from farmers and then resold to those who have the most critical needs. Water management models are also helpful tools. Many models exist which deal with the allocation of scarce water resources, and in these models the water demands of agriculture often play a predomimant role. New approaches are under development, especially with regard to linking models with different domains and various time and space scales. The experiences gained from negotiations between water suppliers and farmers should be used to advantage by govemments. Governments can actively promote such co-operative agreements.

Pages: 1257-1264
Volume: NA
Number: NA
Journal: NA
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: China Agr niv; Natl Ctr Efficient Irrigat Engn & Technol Res; CIGR Sect I Land & Water Engn
ISBN: 7-109-09448-0

water pollution; water shortage; European Union; negotiations; co-operative agreements; water suppliers; sustainable farming; agricultural equipments; cost-effectiveness; water management models; agricultural policy; water policy

Source: Web of Science
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