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WP4 - Water management

The new developed tools will be applied in the Norsminde Fjord catchment in order to assess their utility in future water management planning. The catchment will be divided into robust and vulnerable areas and the uncertainty of this delineation will be assessed. The farmers in the area will be involved in evaluating the practical feasibility of a large range of possible measures to reduce the nitrate leaching. The economic analyses for the area will consist of three different scenarios:
  • General regulations. The costs of reaching a given reduction goal based on a general approach with no detailed knowledge of nitrogen losses at different locations will be calculated. The analysis will be based on the Ministry of Environment "blue nitrate map" that in practise implies that the subsurface reduction is assumed constant over the entire catchment. Selected general measures used in the implementation of The Water Framework Directive will be applied.
  • Site specific regulations. The costs of reaching a given reduction goal will be calculated based on estimated differentiated subsurface reduction capacities in the catchment. The measures will be the same as with general regulation.
  • Site specific, farmer based management. This will be a new strategy, where local farmers are empowered to identify site specific measures that serve the dual purposes of optimising the farmers' total economic gains and the environmental goals within a catchment. The costs of reaching a given reduction goal will be calculated based on estimated differentiated subsurface reduction capacities and an action plan developed in close interaction with the individual farmers considering the most cost effective measures, the location of vulnerable/robust areas and Good Agricultural Practice. A larger range of measures with verified effects will be used. The extent to which these measures can be controlled will be discussed.

The purpose is to compare the three scenarios in terms of costs, measures and location. Are there side-effects which allow for more benefits when the site specific issues are included in the planning? To what extent will farmer positive participation give an effect which increases the cost effectiveness compared to the legislative approach? Together with the new knowledge about vulnerable and robust areas it will be possible to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of management planning on a detailed scale rather than on a more general catchment scale. The economic benefits of using more precise, local scale regulations compared to general approaches will be analysed as well as the advantage of including local farmers in the decision process. Preliminary analyses seem to indicate that actual effectiveness and control are important issues in farm level implementation of measures.

WP leader: Flemming Gertz

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