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Catalogue of Measures to Address Diffuse Pollution from Agriculture


In order to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and address key pressures and impacts from agriculture activities, this project developed a catalogue of measures for tackling agricultural pollution. The catalogue serves as a EU-wide information base and is designed to support Member States in developing programmes of measures in their river basin management plans. This catalogue of measures is a living document that is updated on a regularly basis, which is particularly important to make use of the experiences gained under the first cycle of the WFD in future planning cycles.


The EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) sets a framework for the protection of all waters with the aim of reaching a “good ecological status” of all Community waters by 2015. The successful implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) depends strongly on agricultural land use, which is mainly influenced by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). 

To address the inter-linkages between agriculture and water, an EU Strategic Steering Group (SSG) on WFD and Agriculture was established. From 2005-2006, the SSG mainly focused its activity on identifying the gaps between WFD requirements and what the existing CAP may deliver as well as analysing agricultural pressures and impacts on water bodies. According to Article 4 of the WFD, these pressures and impacts need to be addressed by future measures for protecting the water quality and resources and to meet the environmental objectives of the WFD. A second objective of the mandate is the continuation of the exchange of information, in order to identify best practice or "success stories".
In order to support the Member States in developing their Program of measures, the SSG decided to focus specifically on the compilation of a catalogue of measures.

Project objectives

This project addressed both objectives of the mandate through the development of the catalogue of measures to tackle pressures from agriculture and the organisation of a conference to exchange ideas.
The catalogue has two main starting points:

  1. Problem based approach: Based on the different agricultural pressures identified the user can identify measures that have the potential to reduce this pressure.
  2. Measure based approach: Individual measures can be searched to obtain more information and to learn from experiences of other MS in implementing this measure.

In addition, for each measure the catalogue provides the following information:

  • General description
  • Primary effect
  • Water related side effects
  • Other environmental benefits
  • Geographical scale
  • Time until implementation
  • Time until effective
  • Adaptability level
  • Certainty level
  • Investment costs
  • Operating costs
  • Wider economic costs and benefits
  • Synergies to other measures

Secondly, the conference “WFD meets CAP – Looking for a consistent approach” was held 20 - 21 September 2007 in Paris. Further information on the results of the conference can be found at the conference website.

Thomas Dworak
Dr. Nina Kuckländer
Maria Berglund
Project ID
Good farming practice, water agriculture, Water Framework Directive,
Europe, Germany

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