The Irish agricultural catchments programme: catchment selection using spatial multi-criteria decision analysis

Fealy, R. M. and Buckley, C. and Mechan, S. and Melland, A. and Mellander, P. E. and Shortle, G. and Wall, D. and Jordan, P. (2010) The Irish agricultural catchments programme: catchment selection using spatial multi-criteria decision analysis. Soil Use and Management, 26 (3). pp. 225-236. ISSN 0266-0032


The Nitrates Directive is a European Union legislative framework for managing agricultural nutrient transfers from land to water and, in the Republic of Ireland, is the main Programme of Measures for agriculture in the Water Framework Directive regulations. As part of the requirement for evaluating the Nitrates Directive National Action Programme and an associated derogation for intensive grassland farming, Ireland is monitoring environmental and economic effectiveness at the catchment scale. The selection of representative catchments has been undertaken using national spatial datasets in a Geographical Information System and a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework from over 1500 possible candidates. This ranked catchments (4-12 km 2) in terms of maximizing agricultural landuse and intensity, and defining areas of predominantly grassland and arable enterprises. Catchments were also ranked according to potential phosphorus and/or nitrogen transfer risk using metrics of surface and sub-surface flow path susceptibility, respectively. A selection of four catchments has been augmented with a grassland catchment in a karst landscape that used individual MCDA data layers to define suitability. Some validation of the nutrient transfer risk from each catchment is presented from high resolution water quality data.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2010 The Authors and British Society of Soil Science. 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 04:52
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 05:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: catchments; GIS; MCDA; nitrates directive
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070104 Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling
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.)
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00291.x

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