WATER QUALITY AND AGRICULTURE
From the German Report to EU: Implementation of WFD programmes of measures – interim results 2012
Groundwater conservation initiative in the context of agricultural extension services:
In the interest of reducing chemical inputs in water bodies, the Unterfranken region in the regional state of Bavaria employs three full time water consultants, whose duties are as follows: providing farmers with advice on water conservation and other measures that exceed the scope of good professional practice; raising awareness of farming practices such as catch cropping that protect water resources; organizing and providing support for informational events and
advising working groups, in collaboration with water companies and water resource management officials. State agriculture officials’ agricultural extension programmes are closely related to the scheme called Aktion Grundwasserschutz - Trinkwasser für Unterfranken [“Let’s go to bat for groundwater: drinking water for the Lower Franconia region”] that the Lower Franconia government started in 2001. Thanks to a massive increase in agricultural land used for organic farming and for groundwater-friendly farming practices in Lower Franconia, the region has seen a substantial reduction of nitrate and fertilizer inputs.