Main authors: Susanne Klages, Nicolas Surdyk, Christophoros Christophoridis, Birgitte Hansen, Claudia Heidecke, Abel Henriot, Hyojin Kim, Sonja Schimmelpfennig
FAIRWAYiS Editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: Klages, S. et al. 2018. Review report of Agri-Drinking Water quality Indicators and IT/sensor techniques, on farm level, study site and drinking water source. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 3.1, 180 pp


Contents table
1. Definition of agri-drinking water quality indicators (ADWIs) 
2. DPS(L)IR framework

1. Definition of agri-drinking water quality indicators (ADWIs)

One of FAIRWAY's tasks is to develop (i.e. to prioritise and evaluate) data-driven indicators which can be applied to detect, monitor or even predict the pollution of ground- and surface water by nitrates and pesticides.

Agri-environmental indicators (AEIs), as developed by OECD and Eurostat, are implemented and further developed for the monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of agricultural activities on the environment. These impacts may be negative and positive, on and off the farm. Negative impacts include pollution and degradation of soil, water and air, while positive effects include ecosystem services, such as mitigation of flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices (OECD, 2018).

Consequently, agri-drinking water quality indicators (ADWIs) to be developed in FAIRWAY may be defined as indicators for the quality of drinking water. As drinking water may be produced from ground- or surface water, ADWIs aim at the quality of both. ADWIs may be identical to AEIs, or they may be different.

2. DPS(L)IR framework

According to the FAIRWAY's objectives, ADWI shall be defined within the DPSIR-framework. Having in mind, that ADWIs may be construed as a share of AEIs, there is not much difference between the AEIs interpretation within the DPSIR-framework and the interpretation of ADWI within the DPSLIR-framework. The adjusted DPSLIR-framework contains a new element, the Link indicators, which will be further explained in »Agri-drinking water quality indicators at farm and drinking water levels (Table 4.1).

Table 4.1: Interpretations of the DPS(L)IR framework for AEI and ADWI

Domain Description*) AEI interpretation**) ADWI interpretation
Driving force “Social, demographic, and economic developments in societies and the corresponding changes in the lifestyle and overall levels of consumption and production patterns” * “the state and evolution of regional farming system in relation to input use, land use, and management practices” Social, demographic, and economic demands for clean drinking water and the corresponding changes of the agricultural system in relation to input use, land use, and management practices
Pressure “Developments in release of substances (emissions), physical and biological agents, the use of resources and land“ “harmful and beneficial processes attribute to agriculture” Inputs of nitrate and pesticides from the agricultural system to the hydrogeological system
State “Quantity and quality of physical phenomena, biological phenomena, and chemical phenomena“*  “the state of different natural and semi-natural resources in rural area” Quality of drinking water resources
Link Natural and anthropogenic processes of transport and evolution of nitrate and pesticides in natural systems (from farm fields to water abstraction points) - Natural and anthropogenic processes of transport and evolution of nitrate and pesticides in the hydrogeochemical system
Impact “Relevance of changes in the state of environment“* “the share of agriculture, as a sector, to undesirable changes in the state of the environment resources and its effective contribution to the preservation/enhancement of other environmental resources” Public health concerns and regulatory compliances
Response “Groups and individuals in society and government attempt to prevent, compensate, ameliorate, or adapt to changes in the state of environment“* “Societal, market, and policy responses that influence production systems and agriculture practices” Implementation of mitigation measures

*(Stanners et al., 2007); **(EEA, 2005)



Note: For full references to papers quoted in this article see

» References


Go To Top