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Themes and Topics

Contributions are solicited according to the following themes, themes A through I.

Themes

A.. Increasing our understanding of ‘systems function’: research, tools and methodologies to increase understanding and improving modelling of the hydro(geo)logical, geochemical and biochemical processes
B.. Water quality monitoring: improving monitoring, data management and combined monitoring-modelling to support the evaluation of programmes of measures
C.. Impact of climate change on land use and water quality: assessment of impact on groundwater and surface water quality
D.. Assessment of national or regional policy: effectiveness of programmes of measures on water quality on a regional and national scale
E.. Improving water quality by farm management practices: research (monitoring and modelling) at plot, field and catchment scales to quantify the effects of farming practices and changes in land use
F.. Improving water quality by establishing eco-technological mitigation measures: development, testing, implementation and operation at plot, field and catchment scales to quantify the effects of structural measures
G.. Managing protected areas for water supply and nature conservation: risk assessment techniques, monitoring and modelling of water quality and quantity for the protection of (a) water resources for drinking water supply, and (b) groundwater dependent terrestrial ecosystems
H.. Decision-making on Programmes of Measures: the role of stakeholder input and science in policy decision-making
I.. Implementation of Programmes of Measures: social and economic incentives and regulatory mandates that drive implementation (carrots and sticks)

Special Sessions

In addition to Themes A through I it is also possible to submit abstracts to the following Special session:

Session S1..
Special session on Land and water management for a sustainable bioeconomy

For information on Special Sessions see http://www.luwq2019.nl/special_sessions

Topics per theme

The topics listed within a theme are intended as an indication for the subjects relevant for a theme, without the intention to be limitative for a given theme.

A.. Increasing our understanding of ‘systems function’: research, tools and methodologies to increase understanding and improving modelling of the hydro(geo)logical, geochemical and biochemical processes

Tools and methods to describe and increase knowledge about processes (water and mass flux, and chemical and biological reactions of pollutants) are a pre-requisite for sound and effective monitoring, modelling and predicting the effectiveness of programmes of measures on water quality

A.1
Transport and transformation of nutrients, pesticides, other agrochemicals and heavy metals in groundwater, unsaturated zone, surface waters; field to catchment scale
A.2
Slow response (time lag) of natural systems (soil, groundwater, surface waters) – the influence of historical pollution linked with long travel times will lead to delayed future water quality improvements
A.3
Groundwater – surface water interactions; field to catchment scale
A.4
Effect of changes in groundwater quantity on groundwater and surface water quality
A.5
Source apportionment of inorganic compounds; contribution of agricultural, natural, and other sources of nutrients, and heavy metals
A.6
Source apportionment of organic compounds; contribution of agricultural, natural, and other sources of pesticides and other organic substances, and other xenobiotics
A.7
Biological, hydrological and physical interactions and water quality management options
A.8
Denitrification – spatial and temporal variability in denitrification capacity and impact on concentration of solutes (e.g. nitrate, sulphate, trace metals) in soil, groundwater and surface waters
A.9
Groundwater – terrestrial ecosystems interactions, impact of nutrients, pesticides, other agrochemicals and heavy metals, and water abstraction by agriculture
A.10
Microplastics as upcoming pollutant in agriculture and the water environment – source, loads and risk for transfer to groundwater and surface waters
A.11
Leaching potential of various fertiliser types, including comparison between animal manure, processed manure and chemical fertilisers

 

B.. Water quality monitoring: improving monitoring, data management and combined monitoring-modelling to support the evaluation of programmes of measures

Monitoring provides data essential for the evaluation of programmes of measures. Monitoring is inherently conservative as changes in set-up – such as changes in number and place of locations and sampling frequency – or changes in methods of sampling and chemical analysis may result in a change in future trends not caused by programmes of measures. However, tightening budgets and new policy issues require monitoring networks and programmes to be adapted. New techniques may contribute to a more efficient monitoring system as well as provide data needed to address new issues. Good data management and data quality assurance and control (QA/QC) are an indispensable integral attribute of monitoring.

B.1
Sensor techniques – for high frequency monitoring and supportive modelling of nutrients in surface water and groundwater
B.2
Use of models for improving monitoring programmes
B.3
Remote sensing (RS: drones, aircrafts, satellites) of farm management practices to improve water quality (RS information on soil coverage, tillage intensity, cover cropping, fertiliser application, etc.) and the potential of RS to monitor the implementation of programmes of measures and to provide geospatial information to landscape models
B.4
Drones – for remote sensing of water quality, e.g. as algae biomass and soil erosion
B.5
Data management – storage, quality assurance and control (QA/QC), analysis of monitoring data, data trends, load calculation, etc.
B.6
Strategies for adapting monitoring and supportive modelling to developments in political measures and objectives (monitoring networks, parameters, frequencies, etc.)
B.7
Monitoring efficiency, requirements for efficiency and cost reductions – How to do more with less. How to sustain monitoring quality during times of reduced funding

 

C.. Impact of climate change on land use and water quality: assessment of impact on groundwater and surface water quality

Trends in water quality depend on two major factors, namely change in land use and climate change. Though climate change is important and will also be considered in LuWQ2019, the primary focus of LuWQ2019 is on the effect of land use changes on water quality, on all scales, including the global, national and local scale. Effects from changes on land use due to climate change or climate change mitigation policies can interfere with water quality protection measures and/or their effect on water quality, especially due to changes in crop patterns.
Also year-to-year variability in weather may mask improvements in water quality as a consequence of policy actions, while climate change may hamper or strengthen water quality improvements achieved due to programmes of measures. These effects can lead to wrong conclusions about the effectiveness of the programmes of measures.
To arrive at sound conclusions, models should be able to distinguish between effects caused by human activities and effects due to weather variability. In addition, well-founded knowledge on the effects of climate change on water quality is essential for making science-based predictions of the effectiveness of programmes of measures.

C.1
Assessment of climate change effects on transport and biochemical processes of nutrients, pesticides, other agrochemicals and heavy metals in groundwater and surface waters
C.2
Assessment of climate change effects on changes in crop growth and organic matter (carbon cycle) and their impact on water quality
C.3
Distinguishing between human activities and climate change/hydrological/weather variability, when analysing trends in water quality and water quantity vis-à-vis water quality issues (focus is on how to identify the impact of human activities)
C.4
Risk and vulnerability assessment of climate change, hydrological/weather variability and extreme events (drought, floods) on water quality
C.5
Mitigation and adaption strategies to minimise effects of climate change and hydrological/weather variability on water quality
C.6
Impact of the interaction between climate change and land use changes on environmental flows, i.e. , on ‘the quality, quantity, and timing of water flows required to maintain the components, functions, processes, and resilience of aquatic ecosystems which provide goods and services to people’ (World Bank)

 

D.. Assessment of national or regional policy: effectiveness of programmes of measures on water quality on a regional and national scale

Mandates have been promulgated that require governmental agencies to monitor and model water quality in order to assess the effectiveness of regulatory directives and required river basin management plans on both regional and national scale. In addition, assessments on international scale are made for evaluation and renegotiation of international policies. This theme focuses on the discussion of methodologies and approaches for surveillance and operational monitoring, modelling for underpinning monitoring results and modelling to forecast future evolution of water quality, including integrated modelling.

D.1
Methodologies and approaches of monitoring and / or modelling of effectiveness of programmes of measures on water quality in groundwater and surface waters – rivers, lakes and estuaries, including accounting for the time lag between imposed measures and measured effects
D.2
Analysis of uncertainty in monitoring and modelling of effectiveness of programmes of measures on water quality
D.3
Developments (progress) in use of models for data interpretation of monitoring networks
D.4
Use of models, including integrated models, for prediction of effects on water quality of on-going and future programmes of measures
D.5
Development of modelling frameworks for integrated spatial assessment of environment, production and economic implication of land use
D.6
Comparison of derogation and non-derogation areas or vulnerable and non-vulnerable zones concerning effectiveness of measures
D.7
Nutrient balancing (field, farm, catchment scales) as a tool to improve water quality

 

E.. Improving water quality by farm management practices: research (monitoring and modelling) at plot, field and catchment scales to quantify the effects of farming practices and changes in land use

To underpin specific farm management measures, research has to be carried out to show the effects of specific farming practices (use of catch crops; amount, methods and timing of application of fertilisers and manure; grassland renewal; etc.) and changes in land use on water quality. This theme deals with the research perspective, approaches and results of investigative monitoring (Water Framework Directive), field studies and modelling (including case studies) to show the effectiveness of specific farming practices or changes in land use incorporated or to be incorporated in programmes of measures. The scale of the studies is often at the plot or field level, but may include studies at farm or catchment scale.

E.1
Land conversion; quantifying effects of conversion of agricultural land to other land uses on water quality
E.2
Multifunctional land consolidation (planned readjustment and rearrangement of land parcels and their ownership); quantifying combined economic, environmental (water quality), biodiversity, recreational and rural development effects
E.3
Crop rotation and soil management; quantifying effects of grassland management, arable crop rotation and different soil tillage strategies
E.4
The soil-water-plant system, quantifying water pollution as a consequence of use of nutrients, pesticides and heavy metals
E.5
Non-structural Best Management Practices (BMP) to mitigate the effects of agriculture on water quality, such as, minimal tillage, new fertilisation techniques, various fertiliser types and precision agriculture (improving both water quality and productivity), including the quantification of contaminant losses under BMP
E.6
Assessment of optimal land use (agricultural use) for water quality protection in relation to environmental (physical and chemical) boundary conditions and/or in relation to the protection of ecosystem services
E.7
Management and monitoring of agricultural point sources of pollution, for example, farmyard run-off and leaching from temporary manure deposits
E.8
Prediction of the effects on water quality of crop cultivation for biomass production as source for renewable energy

 

F.. Improving water quality by establishing eco-technological mitigation measures: development, testing, implementation and operation at plot, field and catchment scales to quantify the effects of structural measures

To underpin specific management goals for improving water quality in streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and coastal water, research has to be carried out to show the effects of specific mitigation measures introduced as ‘end of pipe’ control on diffuse losses of sediment, nutrients, pesticides. These include ‘internal measures’ such as controlled drainage as groundwater level management, use of specific types of tile drains for limiting nutrient emissions and saturated buffer zones without loss of land for the construction, as well as ‘external measures’ such as vegetated buffer strips, sedimentation ponds, constructed wetlands of different types, restored wetlands which means the farmer has to give up farmland for construction. It also includes environmental infrastructure aimed at enhancing in-stream values through supplementing flows and levels in water-constrained catchments, such as flow-sharing from irrigation storages and managed aquifer recharge. This theme deals with the research linked to development of new eco-technological mitigation measures, testing of their retention effect for sediment, nutrients, pesticides, etc., their cost-effectiveness (relative to achievement of different policy objectives for water quality) and practical learnings from their full scale implementation with farmers at field to catchment scale. The scale of the studies is often at the plot or field level, but may include studies at farm or catchment scale.

F.1
Development of new methodologies and technologies for targeted emission based controls and their effectiveness for removal/retention of sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and other substances
F.2
Experiences with implementation of best mitigation measures on commercial farms – needs for management, renewal of material, etc.
F.3
Comparison of effectiveness/efficiency and cost effectivity of mitigation measures
F.4
Sharing knowledge on implementation of mitigation measures – potentials and barriers, as well as the perception by farmers of such new mitigation measures including needs for management, information, investment, and land reallocation

 

G.. Managing protected areas for water supply and nature conservation: risk assessment techniques, monitoring and modelling of water quality and quantity for the protection of (a) water resources for drinking water supply, and (b) groundwater dependent terrestrial ecosystems

Water quality monitoring is required for many protected areas. Protected areas include bodies of surface water and groundwater used for water abstraction for drinking water production, and groundwater dependent terrestrial ecosystems. This theme also deals with problems of classification of the ecological status of waters, in other words, the ecological quality of waters in comparison to reference conditions with respect to the biological quality elements, the hydromorphological quality elements and the physico-chemical quality elements.

G.1
Drinking water supply areas; observing and predicting quality and quantity – as far as relevant for quality – of groundwater and surface water in abstraction areas
G.2
Aquatic ecosystems; observing and predicting changes in eutrophication and ecological status of fresh and marine waters (biodiversity), and the development of improved metrics of ecosystem health
G.3
Chemical water quality as predictor for ecological status
G.4
Terrestrial ecosystems: observing and predicting water quality in wetlands and nature areas with agriculture related atmospheric N deposition
G.5
Management options to mitigate effects on water quality in protected areas, including cooperation between local governments, water supply companies and farmers
G.6
Water quality protection versus water purification for management of nutrients and agrochemicals in drinking water supply areas (safe guard zones)
G.7
Designation and management of protection zones within nitrate vulnerable areas (NVZ) with use of additional measures
G.8
Modelling delayed effects (time lag) in slowly responding groundwater systems

 

H.. Decision-making on Programmes of Measures: the role of stakeholder input and science in policy decision-making

Political, social and economic aspects play an important role in designing new programmes of measures, in decision-making, and in implementation of programmes of measures. Natural and social scientists evaluate programmes of measures based on results of research, monitoring and modelling. However, it is governments and members of parliament that discuss and decide on new measures and tightening of existing regulations. What is the role and the importance of targets groups (stakeholders) and science in this debate in the political arena?

H.1
The influence of science in the political debate; experiences and reflections on the science-policy interface
H.2
Policy evaluation and development of programmes of measures; difference between countries in ways to abate pollution, examples of national/state policy design and decision-making
H.3
Pros and cons of involving policy makers and stakeholders in monitoring and research
H.4
Pros and cons of involving farmers in decision making on programmes of measures

 

I.. Implementation of Programmes of Measures: social and economic incentives and regulatory mandates that drive implementation (carrots and sticks)

Multiple forces play important roles in the success or failure of programmes of measures to realise the water quality goals set in advance. This theme focuses on different strategies employed by different governing bodies, including case studies of successful and failed implementation strategies. Implementation options can be adaptive and involve farmers and other stakeholders in monitoring, research and adaptive management.

I.1
Socio-economic opportunities and constraints of implementing programmes of measures, successes and failures
I.2
The relationship between willingness of farmers to implement programmes of measures and the extent of farmer input to science and policy leading to lay down programmes of measures
I.3
Cost effectiveness of measures (including, for example, the role of EU support schemes for the agricultural sector); costs of implementation and maintenance
I.4
Risk and vulnerability assessment of climate change, hydrological/weather variability and extreme events (drought, floods) on water quality
I.5
Use of ‘carrots’ (voluntary measures, training courses, economic instruments, and governance arrangements for cost-effective water management) or ‘sticks’ (laws, regulations and other mandatory instruments) to reach good chemical status of groundwater and surface waters
I.6
Experiences and evaluations of successes and failures of decision support, implementation and payment and/or reward mechanisms at catchment, national and cross-national level

 

Organisation:

DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University, Denmark  Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark


Co-organisers:

            


Scientific sponsors and institutional supporters:

Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany     VMM, Flanders Environment Agency, Department Operational Water Management, Belgium

 


     

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