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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/199

Title: Sustainable grassland systems in Europe and the EU Water Framework Directive
Authors: Tunney, Hubert
Watson, C.
Kronvang, B.
Stamm, C.
Vertes, F.
Richards, Karl G.
Gibson, Mark
Fenton, Owen
Schulte, Rogier P.
Keywords: Grassland
Water Framework Directive
agriculture and environmental policy
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin in association with Teagasc
Citation: Sustainable grassland systems in Europe and the EU Water Framework Directive – Conference overview and summary. H. Tunney, C. Watson, B. Kronvang, et al. Tearmann: Irish journal of agri-environmental research, (2009) 7, 1-10
Series/Report no.: Tearmann: The Irish journal of agri-environmental research;no. 7
Abstract: The International Conference on ‘Sustainable grassland systems in Europe and the EU Water Framework Directive’ took place at Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford from 12th to 14th November 2008. There were approximately 150 participants from Europe, the USA and New Zealand. Most of the invited papers are published in this conference issue. The main aim of the Conference was to identify the challenges that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) presents for grassland agriculture and to help guide the implementation of cost effective mitigation measures. The Conference focused on nutrient (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) loss from grassland and the implications for sustainable production and water quality. This paper summarises the main points and outcomes of discussions and recommendations from the Conference. It was concluded that it is difficult to link the management practices on individual fields or farms with the effects on water quality and ecological conditions in surface waters at the catchment-scale. There is a need to identify areas of highest risk of nutrient loss from point and diffuse sources to a waterbody of vulnerable status and then to focus mitigation measures in the critical source areas, where there is the greatest risk to water quality. Participants agreed that there can be a substantial lag time between the implementation of measures and improvements in water quality. A participatory approach at local level, with personal contact, is considered more productive for securing a positive response to adopting measures. Concerns were expressed that maps and models may be misinterpreted. It was recommended that estimates of accuracy should always be shown when presenting map data and modelled results. Success stories in reducing nutrient loss to water were reported and examples from Denmark and Switzerland were outlined. There is no consensus about the most important mitigation options; they will vary for different situations. The effective implementation of the Nitrates and Urban Waste Water Directives should go a long way towards meeting farming obligations under the WFD. The need for adaptive integrated management was recognised. How mitigation measures can be compared across a wide range of agricultural systems in several EU states, has not yet been explored and to achieve this, further cooperation on the most appropriate options is needed. Similarities and differences between the situation in New Zealand and the USA compared to the EU were also presented and discussed.
Description: peer-reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11019/199
ISSN: 1649-1009
Appears in Collections:Environment, Soils & Land Use

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