Surface runoff is determined by the intensification of agriculture and the disappeararance of grasslands in favour of cereals, root and industrial crops. In large areas under arable land, runoff is related to various environmental problems. Inside a catchment, concentrated erosion results in soil losses and formation of rills. On the other hand, dfifuse erosion results in a loss of fertiliser and pesticides by the topsoil. Concentrated polluted runoff may infiltrate at certain locations within the catchment which may increase the leaching to groundwater. Outside the catchment, the surface runoff, carrying sediment and chemicals, pollutes surface water and streams and is also on the origin of floodings and blocking of drainage systems.
This project aims at defining a series of environmentally friendly land management scenarios, that minimise surface runoff. The scenarios will combine information on environment, agricultural management (soil structure after ploughing, compaction, ...) and CAP regulations, with special emphasis on the use of set-aside lands. The use of grass strips as buffer zones alongside waterways and on slopes is recommended in order to promote deposition of sediment and pollutants and limit surface runoff and erosion. A combination of applied research and modelling tools will be used to analyse the resulting runoff at the field scale (agricultural practices on soil surface roughness and infiltration characteristics) and at a catchment scale (accumulation and concentration).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
8830 Tjele - Foulum
EH26 0PH Penicuik
15071 La Coruña
3508 TC Utrecht