Management of drinking water catchment areas in cooperation with agriculture and the specific role of organic farming. Experiences from Germany and France
Fabienne Baratauda, Christine Aubryb, Alexander Wezelc, Patrick Mundlerd, e
UR 055 INRA SAD ASTER, 662 av. L. Buffet, 88500 Mirecourt, France.
Many problems with nitrate and pesticide contamination from agriculture exist in European drinking water catchments, and quite different management options are presently searched for. Among them, organic farming is considered as an important option to conciliate agricultural activities and water preservation. Based on different type of interviews, literature and documentation analysis, and participation in a steering committee, we compare the construction of agreements between city water utilities and farmers for the preservation of drinking water quality in three drinking water catchment areas (Munich and Augsburg in Germany, Lons-le-Saunier in France). The main differences found are the delimitation of the city's field of action, compensation payments for farmers for certain practices, involvement of the city council in the acquisition of land, and importance granted to organic farming. Successful city-farmer coordination is based on the presence of a facilitator as an intermediary, technical support, dialogue, contracts that span sufficiently long periods, and participation of farmers in elaboration of contracts. In this frame, organic farming did not appear as the major solution and was not systematically developed.