Despite great expectations in the Seine River Basin, the WFD did not reduce diffuse pollution

Type Article
Date 2020-10
Language English
Other localization http://www.water-alternatives.org/index.php/alldoc/articles/volume-13/issue-3-1/588-a13-3-6/file
Author(s) Bouleau Gabrielle1, Barbier Rémy2, Halm-Lemeille Marie-Pierre3, Tassin Bruno4, Buchs Arnaud5, Habets Florence6, 7
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Société (LISIS), UGE, CNRS, INRAE, Marne-la-Vallée, France
2 : Ecole Nationale du Génie de l’eau et de l’environnement de Strasbourg, UMR INRA-ENGEES GESTE, Strasbourg, france
3 : Ifremer, Port en Bessin, France
4 : Ecole des Ponts, LEESU, Champs-sur-Marne, France ; Univ. Paris Est Créteil, LEESU, Créteil, France
5 : Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Sciences Po Grenoble, CNRS, INRAE, Grenoble INP, GAEL, Grenoble, France
6 : CNRS and ENS Laboratoire de Géologie, Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, France
7 : CNRS and ENS Laboratoire de Géologie, Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, France
Source Water Alternatives-an Interdisciplinary Journal On Water Politics And Development (1965-0175), 2020-10 , Vol. 13 , N. 3 , P. 534-555
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) Diffuse pollution, policy implementation, output legitimacy, regulatory space, intensive agriculture, WFD, Seine River Basin, France
Abstract

European stakeholders engaged in combatting the eutrophication of the North Sea welcomed three Water Framework Directive innovations: a more holistic approach to quality, the binding nature of WFD objectives, and greater public participation. Twenty years later, however, there has been a disappointing amount of progress in the reduction of diffuse pollution. In the Seine River Basin, the amount of livestock rearing is low; yet the basin is subject to significant diffuse pollution due to agriculture. This paper reports our study of this case; we examine the literature on WFD implementation policy in order to identify the physical and social causes of this failure to reduce diffuse pollution. We show that the nitrates, phosphorus, and pesticides that affect ground, surface and marine waters are attributable to structural changes in agricultural production rather than to inefficient farming practices. We describe how a series of instruments that were designed to combat the diffuse agricultural origins of pollutants have had little effect. We identify the main obstacles to improvement as being the dispersion of the targeted public and the dispersion of benefits, given the current nature of legitimacy in the European Union. This case illustrates the fact that intensive agricultural production has an impact on water quality far beyond the problem of excess manure from livestock production.

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Bouleau Gabrielle, Barbier Rémy, Halm-Lemeille Marie-Pierre, Tassin Bruno, Buchs Arnaud, Habets Florence (2020). Despite great expectations in the Seine River Basin, the WFD did not reduce diffuse pollution. Water Alternatives-an Interdisciplinary Journal On Water Politics And Development, 13(3), 534-555. Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00645/75668/