Innovative economic instruments for agricultural watermanagement

Exploratory study of innovative economic intruments for water management measures in the agricultural sector. Summary of practical studies.
The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management is investigating different options to modify or expand the funding of water management with more price incentives focusing on more effective, efficient and fairer water management. One of the areas to which additional attention is being paid is the role of innovative economic instruments in agriculture for watermanagement.

At the instructions of the Waterdienst (Water department) of the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, ARCADIS and LEI have carried out an exploratory study of voluntary initiatives over and above of what is required by law in the agricultural sector in the Netherlands where a type of payment for water-related ecosystem services is involved. These ecosystem services may be related to water quality (nutrients, pesticides and ecology), water quantity (storage) or landscape values.

The nature and scope of such initiatives in the Netherlands have been mapped out within this explorative study. In addition, the success and failure factors have been examined in greater depth for a number of selected representative initiatives (formalised schemes).

The results of this exploratory study serve as the basis for the promotion by the Water DG of promising initiatives within the framework of agrarian water management. In addition, the Water DG also wishes to use the results for consultation and harmonisation on a European level.