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Negotiated Agreements between Water Suppliers and Farmers in the Context of Changing Water Networks in Europe

By Hans Th. A. Bressers, Stefan M. M. Kuks and Geerten J. I. Schrama


The issue of agricultural pollution of drinking water resources can be characterised as a complex problem with different levels of governance involved. The impact of the European Union is manifest in the form of legislation and regulations that define the objectives of water quality and set the parameters within which the various groups of actors must operate. At the national level the issue is part of the more comprehensive issue of agricultural pollution in general. Member States are still struggling with the implementation of EU Directives concerning water quality standards, while the policy styles towards the agricultural sector are getting more imposive and regulative, and the traditional agricultural policy networks are under heavy pressure (if they have not been already largely disintegrated). At the regional and local level, especially where agricultural pollution has damaged drinking water resources most, many successful- but chiefly small-scale- initiatives have been developed by the water supply sector. Rather frequent and direct contacts between the water supply sector and the agricultural sector (“interrelatedness”) are an important condition for successfully influencing agricultural practices. The European drinking water standards have been the driving force behind the recognition of the threats to the usefulness of groundwater aquifers (and surface waters) as sources for the drinking wate

Year: 2011
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