|Main authors:||Frode Sundnes, Cors van den Brink, Morten Graversgaard|
|Case study leaders:||Birgitte Hansen, Irene Wiborg, Morten Graversgaard|
|iSQAPERiS editor:||Jane Brandt|
|Source document:||»Sundnes, F et al. (2020) Advancing MAPs as vehicles for resolving issues on drinking water pollution from agriculture. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 2.5R, 56 pp|
In »Multi-actor platforms as vehicles for resolving drinking water pollution issues we critically assess the MAP engagement processes in the FAIRWAY case studies. We look at lessons learned and map opportunities and bottlenecks for meaningful engagement, shed light on challenges and how they have been addressed, and explore the future sustainability of the engagement platforms beyond the lifetime of the project. Here we present feedback from Aalborg MAP participants on the performance and functioning of their MAP that was fed into that assessment to enable the harvesting of lessons and best practice.
|1. Description of MAP|
|2. Problem identification and shared understanding|
|4. Engagement process and participation|
|5. Trust and conflicts|
|6. Future sustainability of MAP|
|7. Lessons learned|
The Aalborg area is one of the most vulnerable areas in Denmark with regards to pollution of groundwater. A monitoring program was established, and many observations and quantitative data are available for a long period. The data shows that the water contains variable amounts of nitrate and traces of some pesticides. For these reasons the municipality and the local waterworks (water cooperation Aalborg) have adopted action plans in several areas where the drinking water abstraction is vulnerable from pollution from agriculture. These action plans mean that water cooperation Aalborg have implemented measures for protection of the groundwater resources against nitrate and pesticide pollution. If there is a need for groundwater protection, the water cooperation Aalborg uses different measures. They either buy up the farmers land, make a declaration for afforestation, use targeted protection with a declaration on the farmers field for how he is allowed to cultivate with the limitations that max. 25 mg nitrate/l is leaching. This declaration is mainly used for pasture, fallow or forest with a declaration on either no pesticide use, low grazing pressure: 0.7 animal units/hectare, no additional application of fertilizer, ploughing - maximum of every 5 years, avoidance of soil without plant cover, non-nitrogen-fixing crops, including clover, non-use of very water consuming crops, e.g. willow. Another measure used is exchange of land (land consolidation).
If the farmers and the waterworks/municipality cannot agree on a voluntary basis, the municipality will require the farmers to do so or use expropriation.
Water cooperation Aalborg have worked with these voluntary agreements since 1998. Where the farmers get paid by the waterworks/consumers in order to change the land use or stop the agricultural practices. This concept has been a successful measure the past 15 years, according to the water cooperation Aalborg. Approximately 60 voluntary agreements have been made on 1400 ha of farmland. However, the water cooperation Aalborg finds it more and more difficult to make voluntary agreements on groundwater protection.
A MAP has been established to find out how to improve the collaboration between farmers and water cooperation Aalborg so that a common understanding and acceptance on protection of groundwater can be found.
A “Groundwater board (Grundvandsrådet)” is maintained by the municipality of Aalborg. The Groundwater board consist of app. 20 members with different interests e.g. agriculture, environment, nature, forest, groundwater etc. Water cooperation Aalborg is responsible for negotiation of agreements on groundwater protection with the farmers as part of the local action plans for drinking water protection.
After a stakeholder analysis was conducted in the Aalborg area, an Aalborg group was established. This group mainly consisted of members of the municipality (Water Collaboration Aalborg) and the farmer advisory organisation, Agri-Nord and SEGES.
Separate meetings have been conducted with farmers in the area that have, or are in the midst of, negotiating with the water cooperation Aalborg about groundwater protection and action plans.
There is currently not a shared understanding between Water Collaboration Aalborg and the farmers on the need for implementation of additional groundwater protection. In the Aalborg case the challenge is that there are clear disagreements and conflicts between the farmers and Water Collaboration Aalborg.
Meetings with farmers and Water Collaboration Aalborg have been held separately, these are meant as a first step towards finding a common space for dialogue and groundwater protection in the Aalborg area.
At the moment, the process is poor or not happening as there is no engagement or participation. Meetings are held separately between farmers and Water Collaboration Aalborg.
Due to ongoing conflicts this will be a theme explored in the future work with the Aalborg MAP.
In the Aalborg MAP, five working hypotheses have been developed to improve the collaboration between farmers and the waterworks on groundwater protection:
- Shared understanding of each other's perspectives and goals as well as better dialogue can increase the possibility of combining groundwater protection and agricultural production
- Documented and recognized agricultural practices and technology development can improve groundwater quality
- “Participatory monitoring” can give farmers better involvement in groundwater protection
- Barriers to groundwater protection have been identified
- Cost-effective solutions for the benefit of both farmers and waterworks have been identified
The main goal with the Aalborg MAP is to improve the dialog on the scientific basis for groundwater protection and the creation of a common understanding of the actual problems. The existing MAP will eventually be further developed and extended to meet these objectives. Suggested plans for future work are; that the MAP for Aalborg could be connected to the municipality “Groundwater board” and could be extended from “Water Collaboration Aalborg” to include water supply companies, private well owners, landowners, state forestry, Arla (the major dairy cooperative), farmers and agricultural advisory etc.
Through interviews with farmers on how to make groundwater protection succeed, key lessons learned have been that four key themes are essential: advice, process, dialogue about consequences and compensation.
- It is important the municipality also gets agronomic advice. The advice for the farmers should be free of charge or paid by the municipality and should be individual.
- The process should be good and transparent, there should be individual negotiations between the right stakeholders involved. And there should be put forward information and knowledge on the consequences.
- The dialogue, should be present and sincere, and should be based on listening and responsiveness to new solutions. The dialogue should understand that interventions and taking land out of production is life-changing for the individual farmer.
- The compensation should be indemnified, fair and there should be an acknowledgement that compensation is expensive, and money should be allocated for this.
Note: For full references to papers quoted in this article see