Ecosystem Effects from Nutrient and Pesticide Pollutants

Catchment Care as a Solution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Agricultural chemicals include fertilisers (nitrogen and phosphorus) and biocides (herbicides, fungicides and insecticides). Environmental impacts in surface waters include algal blooms and disruption to ecological function. Strategies for protection of rivers from eutrophication include improved agricultural land management, conservation farming methods, recycling or retention of drainage and runoff water, and use of buffer strips and riparian vegetation for filtration. Reduction in pesticide use has been achieved by improved application technologies, precision farming, adoption of organic farming, and use of biological control methods. Australian river health audits show widespread deterioration, and protection using the "Polluter Pays Principle" is attractive. However, who should pay for environmental assessment, for adoption of new technologies or change in land use, and how will this be determined? Unfortunately, as demonstrated in two case studies on algal blooms and cotton pesticides, the links between pollutant source and environmental impact remain poorly understood, and the complexity of assessing environmental benefit of agricultural changes makes sheeting home the costs of pollution sources difficult. Alternatives to imposition of penalties include catchment-based targets and guidelines, benchmarking, and adoption of best management practice with an emphasis on incentives and encouragement. Many strategies for risk reduction in agricultural cropping systems are available for inclusion in a "Catchment Care" approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalResources
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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pesticide
catchment
pollutant
nutrient
ecosystem
algal bloom
environmental impact
polluter pays principle
agricultural change
organic farming
benchmarking
agrochemical
riparian vegetation
buffer zone
best management practice
fungicide
environmental assessment
pollutant source
river
biological control

Cite this

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abstract = "Agricultural chemicals include fertilisers (nitrogen and phosphorus) and biocides (herbicides, fungicides and insecticides). Environmental impacts in surface waters include algal blooms and disruption to ecological function. Strategies for protection of rivers from eutrophication include improved agricultural land management, conservation farming methods, recycling or retention of drainage and runoff water, and use of buffer strips and riparian vegetation for filtration. Reduction in pesticide use has been achieved by improved application technologies, precision farming, adoption of organic farming, and use of biological control methods. Australian river health audits show widespread deterioration, and protection using the {"}Polluter Pays Principle{"} is attractive. However, who should pay for environmental assessment, for adoption of new technologies or change in land use, and how will this be determined? Unfortunately, as demonstrated in two case studies on algal blooms and cotton pesticides, the links between pollutant source and environmental impact remain poorly understood, and the complexity of assessing environmental benefit of agricultural changes makes sheeting home the costs of pollution sources difficult. Alternatives to imposition of penalties include catchment-based targets and guidelines, benchmarking, and adoption of best management practice with an emphasis on incentives and encouragement. Many strategies for risk reduction in agricultural cropping systems are available for inclusion in a {"}Catchment Care{"} approach.",
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Ecosystem Effects from Nutrient and Pesticide Pollutants : Catchment Care as a Solution. / Bowmer, Kathleen.

In: Resources, Vol. 2, No. 3, 09.2013, p. 439-456.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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