Using the nutrient transfer continuum concept to evaluate the European Union Nitrates Directive National Action Programme

Wall, D. and Jordan, P. and Melland, A. R. and Mellander, P. -E. and Buckley, C. and Reaney, S. M. and Shortle, G. (2011) Using the nutrient transfer continuum concept to evaluate the European Union Nitrates Directive National Action Programme. Environmental Science and Policy, 14 (6). pp. 664-674. ISSN 1462-9011

Abstract

Agricultural catchments are where farm and landscape management interact with policy and science; especially with regard to the implementation and evaluation of agri-environmental regulation. The Nitrates Directive constrains nitrogen and phosphorus use and management on agricultural land across all EU member states and is one of the programmes of measures to mitigate eutrophication of water resources under the Water Framework Directive. All policies require a robust evaluation tool and for the potential diffuse transfer of nutrients from land to water, the nutrient transfer continuum concept is applied here as an example framework in small (6-30km 2) catchments. The experimental design, methods and some early results are presented: auditing nutrient sources to established levels of compliance is the first stage and considers nutrient use and soil status. Studying pathways provides an understanding of linkages between the land sources and delivery in catchment rivers. This delivery is generally associated with episodic, high magnitude transfers and may not necessarily be the only or even primary ecological impact in rivers. Critiquing existing delivery/impact metrics and defining appropriate standards for identifying trajectories associated with diffuse nutrient transfer will be important in ensuring that agri-environmental policies are given a fair and thorough evaluation over a suitable time period.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 04:13
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 00:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: catchments; nitrates directive; nitrogen; phosphorus
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960706 Rural Water Policy
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2011.05.003
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25788

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