Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341514

Research Project: Developing Safe, Efficient and Environmentally Sound Management Practices for the Use of Animal Manure

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Title: Agriculture and water quality, developments and challenges in science, management and policy in 2013-2017: Examples from a few countries

item Fraters, Dico - National Institute For Public Health And The Environment (RIVM)
item Kovar, Karel - National Institute For Public Health And The Environment (RIVM)
item Kronvang, Brian - Aarhus University
item Stenger, Ronald - Lincoln Agritech Ltd
item Bolster, Carl

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2017
Publication Date: 6/2/2017
Citation: Fraters, D., Kovar, K., Kronvang, B., Stenger, R., Bolster, C.H. 2017. Agriculture and water quality, developments and challenges in science, management and policy in 2013-2017: Examples from a few countries. Meeting Abstract. Paper No. 000.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This paper gives an overview of some of the major developments in science, management and policy since the first Land Use and Water Quality conference in The Hague in 2013 (LuWQ2013) using data from this first conference, from the second conference in Vienna 2015 (LuWQ2015) and from the upcoming conference in The Hague 2017 (LuWQ2017). We will also look ahead to see what the major challenges are nowadays. Examples from countries in different continents are discussed. LuWQ2017 is the third LuWQ conference. These conferences aim to discuss the entire policy cycle for water quality improvement. This cycle includes problem recognition, formulation of technical options, the process of policy development, interaction with policy makers, stakeholders and pressure groups, policy implementation, monitoring and research. The conferences bring together scientists, water managers and policy makers and thereby make it possible to look into developments in the different arenas. Examples make clear that improving water quality never is simple and easy. Changes in regulations, even if they are not regulating water quality, or changes in vision how to reach the objectives may disrupt water quality improvement and require the formulation of new policies. Examples also illustrate that the general trend is to make local authorities responsible for water quality management. Trends in science are more difficult to grasp, as it is frequently difficult to appreciate the results of recent studies. Policy. The abolishment of the milk quota system in 2015 was one of the most important policy changes in the European Union since LuWQ2013. It has led to an increase in dairy cattle, thus threatening the water quality improvements achieved since the mid-nineties of the previous century. In 2016, the Netherlands’ government in co-operations with the dairy sector took drastic measures to reverse this growth. In Denmark, a new government changed the agri-environmental policy. An Agricultural Package was launched by the Danish Government in December 2015. It allowed farmers to again fertilize to economic optimum for the different crops after more than 17 years being forced to fertilize below the economic optimum (since 1998). The goal of New Danish Plan for Agriculture (February 2016) is a more targeted and emissions based regulation of agricultural production. In New Zealand, it is becoming increasingly clear that the government’s twin challenge of ‘doubling the country’s export earnings from primary production while maintaining or improving water quality’ will be extremely difficult to achieve. The National Science Challenge ‘Our Land and Water’ has been launched to support the government’s goal. In the United States, the Clean Water Rule was finalized in 2015 to clarify, by rule, waters subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. While the Rule greatly expands the number of water bodies coming under federal jurisdiction, it does not modify the CWA in regards to controlling non-point source pollution and leaves in place exemptions for agriculture. Some important legislation has been passed at the state level to limit agricultural diffuse pollution. For example, in 2015 legislation was passed in Ohio that places restrictions on manure and fertiliser applications in the Western Lake Erie Basin and requires manure and fertiliser applicators to be certified if they are applying to more than 50 acres (20 ha). Management. More responsibility for farmers to reach good water quality and a closer co-operation between farmers, water managers and local authorities responsible for water quality is a trend that is clearly visible in several European countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands. As easy, cheap and most effective measures often have already been implemented, tailor made solutions are required to reach good water quality all over