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Book Sections Year : 2018

Agroecological practices for the management of drinking-water catchments in agricultural landscapes

Alexander Wezel

Abstract

With the intensification of agriculture over the past decades, yields have significantly increased, but at the cost of increasing and ongoing contamination of drinking-water resources. Over the past two decades different initiatives, action programmes, and policies in many countries throughout the world have been implemented to improve water quality in drinking-water catchments. But a real improvement in drinking-water catchments in agricultural landscapes can only be achieved if a landscape approach is implemented. This means that in order to establish a combination of different farming practices in large parts of the catchment, restoration or conservation of different seminatural landscape elements, and in very crucial areas strong extensification or even, if necessary, abandonment of agriculture. Among the most promising farming practices are different agroecological practices, as many showed reduced leaching or transfer of nutrients to groundwater or surface waters and decreased pesticide use. Examples are diversified crop rotations, intercropping, cover crops, cultivar mixtures, no or reduced tillage, direct seeding, split fertilization, agroforestry, biological pest control and integration of seminatural landscape elements around fields and at the farm and landscape scale. An example is provided in how to evaluate at landscape scale the needed establishment of seminatural landscape elements with the goal to improve conservation biological control in drinking-water catchments. Finally, some examples of water protection programmes are given which are based on paying farmers for certain measures or practices

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Dates and versions

hal-03781457 , version 1 (04-05-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03781457 , version 1

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Alexander Wezel. Agroecological practices for the management of drinking-water catchments in agricultural landscapes. Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition : Proceedings of the International Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in China, FAO, pp.51-59, 2018, 978-92-5-130733-5. ⟨hal-03781457⟩

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