Skip to main content

An interdisciplinary modelling approach assessing the cost-effectiveness of agri-environmental measures on reducing nutrient concentration to WFD thresholds under climate change: the case of the Louros catchment

Abstract

The application of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the European Union (EU) targets certain threshold levels for the concentration of various nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous being the most important. In the EU, agri-environmental measures constitute a significant component of Pillar 2—Rural Development Policies in both financial and regulatory terms. Environmental measures also are linked to Pillar 1 payments through cross-compliance and the greening proposals. This paper drawing from work carried out in the REFRESH FP7 project aims to show how an INtegrated CAtchment model of plant/soil system dynamics and instream biogeochemical and hydrological dynamics can be used to assess the cost-effectiveness of agri-environmental measures in relation to nutrient concentration targets set by the WFD, especially in the presence of important habitats. We present the procedures (methodological steps, challenges and problems) for assessing the cost-effectiveness of agri-environmental measures at the baseline situation, and climate and land use change scenarios. Furthermore, we present results of an application of this methodology to the Louros watershed in Greece and discuss the likely uses and future extensions of the modelling approach. Finally, we attempt to reveal the importance of this methodology for designing and incorporating alternative environmental practices in Pillar 1 and 2 measures.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  • Albanis T, Hela D (1998) Pesticide concentrations in Louros river and their fluxes into the marine environment. Int J Environ Anal Chem 70:105–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allen B, Hart K (2013) Meeting the EU’s environmental challenges through the CAP—how do the reforms measure up? Asp Appl Biol 118:9–22

    Google Scholar 

  • Balana BB, Vinten A, Slee RW (2011) A review on cost-effectiveness analysis of agri-environmental measures related to the EU WFD: key issues, methods, and applications. Ecol Econ 70:1021–1031

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • CEC (2011) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing Rules for Direct Payments to Farmers Under Support Schemes Within the Framework of the Common Agricultural Policy COM(2011) 625; Proposal for a Regu- lation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing a Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Single CMO Regulation) COM(2011) 626; Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Support for Rural Development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) COM(2011) 627; Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Financing, Management and Monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy COM(2011) 628, Commission of the European Communities, Brussels

  • Crossman J, Futter MN, Oni SK, Whitehead PG, Jin L, Butterfield DA, Baulch HM, Dillon PJ (2013) Impacts of climate change on hydrology and water quality: future proofing management strategies in the Lake Simcoe watershed, Canada. J Great Lakes Res 39(1):19–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • EEA (2010a) The European Environment. State and Outlook 2010: Synthesis Report, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen

  • EEA (2010b) EU2010 Biodiversity Baseline. EEA Technical Report, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen

  • EEA (2010c) The European Environment. State and Outlook 2010: land use, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen

  • EEA (2010d) The European Environment. State and Outlook 2010: water resources—quantity and flows, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen

  • ENRD (2013) Rural development programmes 2007–2013 Snapshots. European Network for Rural Development, Brussels

    Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (2010) Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Communication from the commission, COM(2010)2020, Final, 3.3.10, European Commission, Brussels

  • European Union (2000) Common implementation strategy for the water framework directive (2000/60/EC). Guidance document no. 5. Transitional and coastal waters: typology, reference conditions and classification systems, Brussels

  • Hall J, Borgomeo E (2013) Risk-based principles for defining and managing water security. Philos Trans R Soc A 371:1–22

  • Hart K, Baldock D, Tucker G, Allen B, Calatrava J, Black H, Newman S, Baulcomb C, McCracken D, Gantioler S (2011) Costing the environmental needs related to rural land management. Report for the European Commission DG Environment, IEEP, London

    Google Scholar 

  • IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis: summary for policymakers. Fourth assessment report of the IPCC. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  • Keenleyside C, Allen B, Hart K, Baldock D (2012) Design and implementation of agri-environmental policies: are guidelines feasible? in OECD, evaluation of agri-environmental policies: selected methodological issues and case studies. OECD, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Konstantinou I, Hela D, Albanis T (2006) The status of pesticide pollution in surface waters (rivers and lakes) of Greece. Part I. Review on occurence and levels. Environ Pollut 141:555–570

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kotti M, Vlessidis A, Thanasoulias N, Evmiridis N (2005) Assessment of river Watre quality in Northwestern Greece. Water Resour Manage 19:77–94

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matthews A (2013) Greening agricultural payments in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Bio-based Appl Econ 2(1):1–27

    Google Scholar 

  • Skuras D (2011) Scenarios and Storylines for the Louros (GR) Catchment, REFRESH research project, Work-package 6, Task 3, University of Patras, Department of Economics

  • Skuras D, Psaltopoulos D (2012) A broad overview of the main problems derived from climate change that will affect agricultural production in the mediterranean area. In: FAO/OECD. Building resilience for adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector. Proceedings of a joint FAO/OECD Workshop, Rome, 23–24 April

  • Skuras D, Kontolaimou A, Psaltopoulos D (2010) The profile of the Louros (GR) Catchment, REFRESH research project, work-package 6, Task 1

  • Skuras D, Kontolaimou A, Psaltopoulos D (2012) Workshop proceedings on collaborative scoping of solutions, Louros Catchment, Greece. Deliverable 6.6. Refresh Research Project, Department of Economics, University of Patras

  • Slee RW (2012) Report on sub-catchment rationale and selection. REFRESH research project, Work-package 6, Deliverable 6.3, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen

  • Tsangaris C, Cotou E, Papathanassiou E, Nicolaidou A (2009) Assessment of contaminant impacts in a semi-enclosed estuary (Amvrakikos Gulf, NW Greece): bioenergetics and biochemical biomarkers in mussels. Environ Monit Asseess 161:259–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wade AJ, Durand P, Beaujouan V, Wessel WW, Raat KJ, Whitehead PG, Butterfield D, Rankinen K, Lepisto A (2002a) A generic nitrogen model of European ecosystems: INCA, new model structure and equations. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 6:559–582

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wade AJ, Whitehead PG, Butterfield D (2002b) The integrated catchments model of phosphorus dynamics (INCA-P), a new approach for multiple source assessment in heterogeneous river systems: model structure and equations. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 6:583–606

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead PG, Wilson EJ, Butterfield D (1998a) A semi-distributed Integrated Nitrogen model for multiple source assessment in Catchments (INCA): part I—model structure and process equations. Sci Total Environ 210:547–558

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead PG, Wilson EJ, Butterfield D, Seed K (1998b) A semi-distributed integrated flow and nitrogen model for multiple source assessment in catchments (INCA): part II—application to large river basins in south Wales and eastern England. Sci Total Environ 210:559–583

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead P, Crossman J, Balana B, Futter M, Comber S, Skuras D, Wade A, Bowes M, Read D (2013) A cost effectiveness analysis of water security and water quality: impacts of climate and land use change on the River Thames system. Philos Trans R Soc A 371(2012):20120413. doi:10.1098/rsta.2012.0413

Download references

Acknowledgments

This work was carried out as part of the REFRESH FP7 Project: Adaptive Strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems, funded by EU Seventh Framework Program (Grant Agreement 244121): www.refresh.ucl.ac.uk.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Demetrios Psaltopoulos.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Skuras, D., Wade, A., Psaltopoulos, D. et al. An interdisciplinary modelling approach assessing the cost-effectiveness of agri-environmental measures on reducing nutrient concentration to WFD thresholds under climate change: the case of the Louros catchment. Oper Res Int J 14, 205–224 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12351-014-0158-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12351-014-0158-5

Keywords

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Agri-environmental measures
  • Integrated modelling
  • Water Framework Directive
  • Climate change
  • Mitigation