Safe drinking water is vital for human health. Diffuse pollution of nitrogen and pesticides from agriculture is the main obstacle to meet drinking water quality targets.
The objective of FAIRWAY is
- to review approaches for protection of drinking water resources against pollution by pesticides and nitrate, and
- to identify and further develop innovative measures and governance approaches for a more effective drinking water protection.
International Conference: Water Science for Impact, October 2018
Wageningen, 16-18 October 2018.
This international and multidiscipinary water conference was convened within the framework of the Wageningen University & Research 100 years centennial celebrations. The conference focused on the interaction between science and society in developing solutions for pressing water related problems as identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
FAIRWAY WP6 (Legal Policy and Governance) results so far were presented in a well-attended session on water governance. After a short general introduction on the FAIRWAY project, the aim and scope of the work package on governance was highlighted. Some very preliminary results and so-called ‘impressions’ were presented. These impressions revealed the extremely complex governance structures in countries, related to protection of water resources from pollution with nitrate and pesticides from agriculture. The governance structures were also highly diverse between countries. A significant part of these differences can be explained by historical, cultural and political differences between countries. Knowledge of these governance structures is necessary to be able to translate innovative local governance arrangements from our case studies to other regions in Europe and beyond, to be worked on in the coming years. Finally, the audience was invited to share their experiences with local governance arrangements. We received good examples from the Netherlands and New Zealand and a lively discussion arose about law enforcement. It was concluded that a mix of legal and voluntary instruments is possibly the best way forward for effective protection of drinking water resources.
Legal Policy & Governance WP Meeting, October 2018
Oslo 8-9 October 2018
On 8 and 9 October 2018, WP6-participants met in Oslo for a work package meeting. Two Danish participants were present through Skype. A total of 15 participants presented progress in each task and discussed the way forward in terms of activities, participating partners and a time line for the coming months. We kindly acknowledge the hospitality of our Norwegian partner NIVA who organized this meeting very well.
We discussed the preparation of phase 2 of the questionnaire of task 6.2 in more detail. This phase 2 will consist of a survey that will deliver the additional data to be used in most of the other tasks.
As key messages so far, we have identified the following:
- Regulatory structures at EU, National and Regional levels are very comprehensive and fragmented
- High degree of divergence in how Directives are transposed into national law
- Shades of former pre-EU legislative structures still exist (old issues continue)
- Diversity is not good or bad (both legislation and case studies), it is a reality we have to deal with
- Because of this complexity and diversity, it will be our challenge for the coming years to translate good examples of local government arrangements to other areas, and to advice the EC on further improvements of the regulatory structure at EU level to enable this
- Our data on governance originate from the case studies, this limits the scope of our conclusions (disclaimer).
Second FAIRWAY Plenary meeting, June 2018
Aalborg, 20 - 22 June 2018
Forty-nine members of FAIRWAY attended the second plenary meeting in the beautiful Dronninglund Castle, Aalborg. Highlights included:
- A joint meeting with WaterProtect, who held their own plenary meeting at the same time and venue, with an icebreaker (port from Portugal) and diner. Agreements have been made about working together, organizing workshops and communication/dissemination.
- A field trip to farms, experiments and waterworks, with an active role of Water Supply Aalborg.
- A training session about preparating material for dissemination by social media, concentrating on making infographics and videos to explain the FAIRWAY's key messages. The first infographic (Barriers and solutions in science and policy interaction) has since been released (see below).
- All multi-actor platforms have been established and multi-actor engagement plans have been complied for each case study site.
- First selections of indicators, measures to decrease nitrate and pesticide leaching and farm decision support tools have been made. More in-depth analyses will be made and results will be published in the coming months.
- A questionnaire on the governance arrangements in the case studies was discussed with the partners. The government arrangements in the case studies will be carried out during three phases in the coming year.
Our grateful thanks to Rikke, the team from SEGES and our hosts at Dronninglund for organising such an excellent meeting.