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Scope and Objectives

Growing population and increasing wealth are incentives for further growth of the agricultural production in all parts of the world. The potential drawback of growth of the agricultural production is an increase in the pollution of the terrestrial and aquatic environment by nutrients, pesticides and trace elements as it has occurred in developed countries worldwide since 1950s. A recent survey showed that 90% of European citizens say that use of pesticides and nutrients has an impact on water quality and 84% say that chemical pollution is the main threat to the water environment (Flash Eurobarometer 344). Environmental directives of the European Union (EU), for example, the Nitrates Directive (ND), Groundwater Directive (GD) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD), aim at reducing the impact of agriculture (ND) and other sectors (GD, WFD) on the aquatic environment. EU member states are obliged to make programmes of measures to abate and reduce environmental pollution. The European Commission is developing a blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources to clarify whether and what additional actions and tools are needed (EU, 2012a).

Programmes of measures are the outcome of a political process involving science, policy, stakeholders and interest and pressure groups. Governments use programmes of measures to reach pre-defined environmental goals, such as good water quality. Programmes of measures contain obligation for actors, e.g., farmers, owners of nature areas or drinking water supply companies. Governments evaluate and adapt these programmes regularly. For example, every four years in relation to the obligations of the EU Nitrates Directive (EU, 2011) and every six years in relation to the EU Water Framework Directive (EU, 2012b). The success of implementation of these programmes depends, amongst others, on the acceptance of the programme of measures by the actors, advice and education, controls and enforcement.

Trends in water quality depend on two major factors, namely change in land use and climate change. Though climate change is important and will also be considered in LuWQ2013, the primary focus of LuWQ2013 is on the effect of land use changes on water quality, on all scales, including the global, national and local scale. Effects from changes on land use due to climate change can interfere with protection measures, especially due to changes in crop patterns and the possibility of shift toward multiple annual crops in many northern European countries (EU, 2012c).
LuWQ2013 has it origin in the series of so-called international MonNO3 workshops, held in 2003 and 2009, focusing on monitoring the effectiveness of the Nitrates Directive action programmes (RIVM, 2005, 2009).

EU, 2012a:
EU, 2012b:

EU, 2012c:
EU, 2011:

Flash Eurobarometer 344:

RIVM, 2009:

RIVM, 2005:

This conference aims to discuss the entire policy cycle for water quality improvement. This cycle includes problem recognition, formulation of technical options, the process of policy development, interaction with policy makers, stakeholders and pressure groups, policy implementation, monitoring and research. This conference also aims to intensify contacts, on the one hand, between scientists with a background in natural sciences and scientists with a background in social and economic sciences and, on the other hand, between scientists, water managers and policy makers. In short, the objectives are:

to provide forum for exchange of scientific knowledge, research on system knowledge, modelling and uncertainty; 
to discuss the entire policy cycle for water quality improvement;
to intensify contacts (a) between soil/water related scientists, agro related scientists, social scientists, ecological scientists and economists, and (b) between scientists, water managers and policy makers.

Target groups and keywords
Target groups are scientists, managers and policy makers involved in the policy cycle for water quality improvement. It includes activities characterised by the following keywords: agronomy, agro-economics, agro-sociology, water management, water policy, hydrology, aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, unsaturated zone, groundwater, surface waters, drinking water, monitoring, modelling, water quality, nutrients, agro-chemicals.




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