Page 35 - Green knowledge 2022
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 Photo: Anne-Grete Buseth Blankenberg
Europe’s best water environment measures
Which environmental measures are best suited to retain water and nutrients in small agriculture-dominated catchments, and how can the measures be combined so that they become more cost effective where they are introduced? This is what European researchers are currently trying to find out.
 “To achieve the major targets on a global level, we have to find good and effective solutions locally,” says Senior Researcher Attila Nemes, who is leading the EU project OPTAIN from NIBIO’s side. The European researchers are working together with farmers and advisers to identify and refine nature- based and location-adapted environmental measures for 14 small catchment areas in several countries. One of these is the Kråkstadelva catchment in Norway.
By using simulation models, researchers are investi- gating where the best places are to introduce measures in catchment areas, which measures have the greatest impact, which measures work well together and which are the most likely to be imple- mented with regard to the farmers’ willingness and needs.
“Soil conditions, type of production and not least the country’s laws, regulations and financial support
schemes are also important for how farming is carried out,” explains Nemes.
It is not enough to simply identify a problem and propose measures to resolve it. If they are to achieve good results, for the future as well, it is important that researchers maintain a dialogue with those who are active in the area.
It is not just about finding solutions that will have an effect in countries and areas with widely varying conditions.
“We also hope to achieve increased understanding of the connections between agriculture, the different characteristics of a landscape, and very specific environmental measures,” says Nemes.
Hopefully it will be easier for various agricultural players to make well-informed choices in the future.
 Purpose: Collaboration: Funding: Contact:
Identify Europe’s best water environment measures for small agriculture-dominated catchment areas, either alone or in combination.
OPTAIN is ongoing until 2025 and is coordinated by UFZ Helmholtz Centre in Germany. The Norwegian partners are NIBIO and NIVA.
EU Horizon 2020
Research Professor Attila Nemes. E-mail:, phone: +47 920 10 865. Division of Environment and Natural Resources

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