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Themes and Topics

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

Themes

A.. Increasing our understanding of ‘systems function: research to increase understanding and improving modelling of the hydro(geo)logical, geochemical and biochemical reality
B.. Water quality monitoring: improving monitoring and data management
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.. Quantifying the impacts of land management practices on water quality: research (monitoring and modelling) at plot, field and catchment scales to quantify the effects of farming practices and changes in land use
F.. 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
G.. Decision-making on Programmes of Measures: the role of stakeholder input and science in policy decision-making
H.. 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 H it is also possible to submit abstracts to three Special sessions, namely:

Session S1.. Special Session on Multi-functionality of buffer strips for reducing edge of field losses of sediment, nutrients and pesticides and enhance biodiversity
Session S2.. Special Session on Achieving water quality through voluntary measures: Delivery in practice
Session S3.. Special Session on Spatial targeting for control of agricultural diffuse pollution of groundwater and surface water

For information on Special Sessions see http://www.luwq2017.nl/special_sessions.

Topics per theme

The topics listed with 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 to increase understanding and improving modelling of the hydro(geo)logical, geochemical and biochemical reality

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 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
Groundwater – surface water interactions; field to catchment scale
A.3
Effect of changes in groundwater quantity on groundwater and surface water quality
A.4
Source apportionment of inorganic compounds; contribution of agricultural, natural, and other sources of nutrients, and heavy metals
A.5
Source apportionment of organic compounds; contribution of agricultural, natural, and other sources of pesticides and other organic substances, and other xenobiotics
A.6
Biological, hydrological and physical interactions and water quality management options
A.7
Denitrification – an effective but highly spatially varying process reducing the nitrate concentration in soil, groundwater and surface waters?
A.8
Groundwater – terrestrial ecosystems interactions, impact of nutrients, pesticides, other agrochemicals and heavy metals, and water abstraction by agriculture

 

B.. Water quality monitoring: improving monitoring and data management

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 structural change in a trend. 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 are an indispensable integral attribute of monitoring.

B.1
Sensor techniques – for high frequency monitoring of nutrients in surface water and groundwater
B.2
Drones – for remote sensing of water quality, e.g. as algae biomass and soil erosion
B.3
Data management – storage, quality assurance and analysis of monitoring data, data trends, load calculation, etc.
B.4
Monitoring strategies. Adapting monitoring to developments in political measures and objectives (monitoring networks, parameters, frequencies, etc.)
B.5
Monitoring efficiency. More data and knowledge is wanted, but the funding is tightening. How to sustain monitoring quality

 

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 LuWQ2017, the primary focus of LuWQ2017 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 can interfere with protection measures, 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 manmade effects in monitoring data 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)
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.

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
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 for prediction of effects on water quality of on-going and future programmes of measures
D.5
Comparison of derogation and non-derogation areas or vulnerable and non-vulnerable zones concerning effectiveness of measures
D.6
Nutrient balance monitoring as a tool to improve water quality

 

E.. Quantifying the impacts of land management practices on water quality: 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 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.) 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 incorporated or to be incorporated in programmes of measures. The scale of the studies is often on the plot or field level, but may include studies on farm or catchment scale.

E.1
Land conversion; quantifying effects of conversion of agricultural land to other land uses on water quality
E.2
Crop rotation and soil management; quantifying effects of grassland management, arable crop rotation and different soil tillage strategies
E.3
The soil-water-plant system, quantifying water pollution as a consequence of use of nutrients, pesticides and heavy metals
E.4
Structural Best Management Practices to mitigate the effects of agriculture on water quality, such as vegetated buffer strips, sedimentation ponds and constructed wetlands
E.5
Non-structural Best Management Practices to mitigate the effects of agriculture on water quality, such as, minimal tillage, new fertilisation techniques, and precision agriculture
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
E.9
Development in methodologies and technologies for emission based controls and management of nutrient emissions from agriculture

 

F.. 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.

F.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
F.2
Aquatic ecosystems; observing and predicting changes in eutrophication and ecological status of fresh and marine waters (biodiversity)
F.3
Chemical water quality as predictor for ecological status
F.4
Terrestrial ecosystems: observing and predicting water quality in wetlands and nature areas with agriculture related atmospheric N deposition
F.5
Management options to mitigate effects on water quality in protected areas
F.6
Management of nutrients and agrochemicals in drinking water supply areas (safe guard zones) – water quality protection versus water purification
F.7
Designation and management of protection zones within vulnerable areas (NVZ) with use of additional measures
F.8
Modelling delayed effects (time lag) in slowly responding groundwater systems

 

G.. 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. 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 importance of targets groups and science in this debate in the political arena?

G.1
The influence of science in the political debate; experiences and reflections on the science-policy interface
G.2
Policy evaluation and development of programmes of measures; difference between countries in ways to abate pollution
G.3
Pros and cons of involving policy makers and stakeholders in monitoring and research

 

H.. 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.

H.1
Socio-economic opportunities and constraints of implementing programmes of measures, successes and failures
H.2
Cost effectiveness of measures (including, for example, the role of EU support schemes for the agricultural sector)
H.3
Use and development of user-friendly conjunctive models (surface and groundwater) for policy makers to analyse water resources and demands
H.4
Use of ‘carrots’ (voluntary measures, training courses and funding) or ‘sticks’ (laws and regulations) to reach good chemical status of groundwater and surface waters

 

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