FAIRWAY image hr crop 1000 x 269

The issue

Safe drinking water is vital for human health and the economy. Throughout the EU, diffuse pollution by nitrogen and pesticides from agriculture is one of the main obstacles to meeting drinking water quality targets. Policies to protect drinking water resources are not achieving a consistent level of implementation and effectiveness across all member states.

FAIRWAY project (2017-2021)

In response, the EU-funded H2020 »iFAIRWAY Project aimed to review approaches for the protection of drinking water resources from pollution by nitrogen and pesticides and to identify and further develop cost-effective and innovative measures and governance approaches that will protect drinking water supplies while increasing agricultural sustainability.

FAIRWAY took a multi-actor approach to facilitate effective cooperation between actors from different sectors and levels including: farmers, advisors, drinking water companies, scientists and policy makers. The practical experiences from 13 case studies in 12 countries were analysed in five research themes to identify the barriers and success factors associated with achieving water quality targets.

This FAIRWAYiS website gives a comprehensive presentation of the scientific results and recommendations of FAIRWAY.

Quick guide to FAIRWAYiS

Monitoring & indicators

Transparent agri-drinking water quality indicators are identified, evaluated and further developed to monitor and assess the impact of farming measures and practices on drinking water quality.

Farming measures & practices

The most promising measures and practices to decrease nitrate and pesticide pollution of drinking water supplies from agricultural sources are identified and assessed.

Decision support tools

A web-based framework for that enables users to select from multiple possibilities the decision support tools most suited to their needs and a mobile app specifically developed by FAIRWAY for infrequent pesticide users.

Case studies

Overviews of the case studies and details of their contributions to the differents parts of the research programme.


iSQAPER diagram Amy edit Full colour

Results in brief

Key messages, research highlights, video clips and infographics providing information about the effects of agriculture on drinking water quality in succinct and easy to read formats.

Multi-actor platforms

The use of multi-actor platforms for resolving drink water pollution issues is analysed drawing on experiences in the FAIRWAY case studies. Lessons learned and recommendations for the development of water safety plans.

Policy implementation & governance

The coherence and consistency of EU directives and policies are analysed; how they apply to farm water management in order to realize objectives from farm to national and EU scale; how to overcome possible shortcomings.

Scientific support for policy

FAIRWAY's results are integrated and synthesised to identify key options for protection of drinking water resources against diffuse pollution of nitrate and pesticides from agriculture and to analyse the implications of these options for EU policies and practice.


eu flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727984


Go To Top