Implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) represents a fundamental change in the management of water in Europe with a requirement that member states ensure ‘good ecological status’ for all water bodies by 2015. Agriculture is expected to bear a major share of WFD implementation costs as it is compelled to reduce the emission of diffuse water pollutants. The research outlined here comprises interdisciplinary modelling of agricultural land use, hydrology and consequent water quality effects to consider both agricultural costs and the non-market recreational use (and potentially non-use) values that implementation of the Directive may generate. A theme throughout the research is the spatial distribution of the costs and benefits of WFD implementation, which is addressed through the use of GIS techniques in the modelling of agricultural land use, the integration of land use and hydrological models, and the estimation, aggregation and transfer of the economic value of the benefits
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