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Assessing the potential impacts of a revised set of on-farm nutrient and sediment ‘basic’ control measures for reducing agricultural diffuse pollution across England

Collins, A.L.; Newell Price, J.P.; Zhang, Y.; Gooday, R.; Naden, P.S.; Skirvin, D.. 2017 Assessing the potential impacts of a revised set of on-farm nutrient and sediment ‘basic’ control measures for reducing agricultural diffuse pollution across England. Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.078

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Abstract/Summary

The need for improved abatement of agricultural diffuse water pollution represents cause for concern throughout the world. A critical aspect in the design of on-farm intervention programmes concerns the potential technical cost-effectiveness of packages of control measures. The European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) calls for Programmes of Measures (PoMs) to protect freshwater environments and these comprise ‘basic’ (mandatory) and ‘supplementary’ (incentivised) options. Recent work has used measure review, elicitation of stakeholder attitudes and a process-based modelling framework to identify a new alternative set of ‘basic’ agricultural sector control measures for nutrient and sediment abatement across England. Following an initial scientific review of 708 measures, 90 were identified for further consideration at an industry workshop and 63 had industry support. Optimisation modelling was undertaken to identify a shortlist of measures using the Demonstration Test Catchments as sentinel agricultural landscapes. Optimisation selected 12 measures relevant to livestock or arable systems. Model simulations of 95% implementation of these 12 candidate ‘basic’ measures, in addition to business-as-usual, suggested reductions in the national agricultural nitrate load of 2.5%, whilst corresponding reductions in phosphorus and sediment were 11.9% and 5.6%, respectively. The total cost of applying the candidate ‘basic’ measures across the whole of England was estimated to be £450 million per annum, which is equivalent to £52 per hectare of agricultural land. This work contributed to a public consultation in 2016.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.078
CEH Sections/Science Areas: CEH Fellows
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: control measures, costs, efficacy, nutrients, sediment, Water Framework Directive
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 30 Oct 2017 14:57 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518165

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