Actors' feedback on practices for improvement of water quality in FAIRWAY case studies and interim project results
|Main authors:||Janja Rudolf, Špela Železnikar, Matjaž Glavan, Andrej Udovč, Sindre Langaas, Marina Pintar|
|FAIRWAYiS Editor:||Jane Brandt|
|Source document:||»Rudolf, J. et al. (2021) Actor's feedback on practices for improvement of water quality in FAIRWAY case studies and interim project results. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 7.2R 74 pp|
In this section of FAIRWAYiS we present the feedback obtained on the evidence-based practices in the different FAIRWAY case studies to improve water quality, building on the work described in »Barriers and issues in providing integrated scientific support for EU policy.
We report on
- feedback from local actors on the evidence-based practice in the different FAIRWAY case studies to improve water quality,
- the detailed views of EU representatives on FAIRWAY project interim results, in order to optimally target the final results, and
- the views of different EU land managers on the applicability, cost and adoptability of chosen best practises and measures to reduce pesticides and nitrates in drinking water resources.
To obtain the feedback and views, three surveys were conducted
Firstly, members of the multi-actor platforms (MAPS) in the case studies were asked to what extent they agreed with the evaluation of the major issues and barriers for solving issues relating to diffuse pollution of drinking water by agricultural use of nitrates and pesticides made by EU representatives (see »Barriers and issues in providing integrated scientific support for EU policy.)
There was general agreement among the MAPs that stronger involvement of all actors in the science-policy interface is a solution for science integration into policy. Most respondents also agree or strongly agree that it is good that member states have a voice in solving problems on local level relating agricultural pollution of drinking water resources and that MAPs are the right way to engage stakeholders in this issue closely. However, the idea of separation of pesticides and nitrates in projects and policy communications has considerably lower support in the MAPs as on EU level.
»Actors' feedback on practices for the improvement of water quality in case studies
Secondly, the interim results from FAIRWAY's research programme were presented to a Joint Policy Conference meeting held in Brussels on 7th December 2018. The participants were asked their opinions on the usefulness of the results to different stakeholder groups including researchers, local, regional and national authorities, agro-industry, SMEs, NGOs and farmers.
The respondents stressed that there is an absolute need to have the key and essential final project results presented shorter and in a language understandable to policymakers. The idea of possible long-term relationship/communication flows between research projects and political agenda, including Taskforce water intending to design project clusters seems very useful to the vast majority of respondents. The respondents agreed that the most effective ways to receive interim project results are presentations at conferences and workshops or via executive summaries of deliverables. The final results of the project can be best communicated via executive summaries of deliverables, and by conferences/workshops, articles in scientific journals and YouTube videos.
»Actors' feedback on practices for water quality improvement in interim project results
Thirdly, drawing on the research findings presented in »Management practices that reduce nitrate transport and »Management practices that reduce pesticide transport, a wider group of EU land managers (mostly from COPA-COGECA and EUFRAS associations) was surveyed to choose 5 most promising practices according to their applicability, cost and adoptability. Finding the best options of evidence-based practices regarding their applicability, cost and adoptability has shown that there are some potential win-win solutions for all stakeholders involved.
For pesticides regulation good potentials are showing the practices:
- Bio beds/filters and/or
- Constructed wetland.
And for nitrates regulation good potentials are showing the practices:
- Changes in the application method,
- Grassed waterways and/or
- Changes in cropping system and crop rotation.
»Actors' feedback on the potential of evidence-based practices for water quality improvement
The conclusions drawn from all three surveys are briefly summarised.