Over 80 per cent of rivers and 75 per cent of groundwaters are under pressure from diffuse pollution. Agriculture is not solely responsible for all these pressures, but it is a large contributor.
About three-quarters of the land area in the UK is used for agriculture, so the implications of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for farmers and those involved in the agricultural industry are significant.
Changes in farming practices take time to deliver environmental benefits, so action on improving farm management through regulatory, voluntary and incentive schemes will have to begin now in order to meet the objectives of the WFD by 2015.
- The WFD will have implications for farming practices and land management as well as water management
- Pressures associated with agriculture include diffuse pollution and water consumption
- Farmers need to manage their land carefully to meet the requirements of the WFD