• Assessing Policies to Improve Water Quality in Agricultural Landscapes

      Weersink, Alfons (2015)
      Prince Edward Island (PEI) has a unique ecological and economic dependence on water quality, which is affected directly by the agricultural systems used. PEI residents rely solely on groundwater as its source of drinking water, and groundwater contributes approximately 70% to surface waters such as streams, rivers, and estuaries. The reliance on the quality of groundwater in PEI by ecosystems and residents coexists within an intensive agricultural sector that is economically important to the province. Potatoes are grown on over 40% of the 1.4 million acre land base and the crop generates over 75% of the total cash receipts from this cropland. The heavy reliance of nitrogen for this high-value crop grown on the sandy soils of PEI has resulted in significant groundwater nitrate contamination. While the problem of excess nitrates and water quality has attracted the attention of hydrogeologists and agronomists to research the impact of agricultural land management practices on nitrate leachate using hydrologic modelling techniques, little economic analyses on the BMPs to alleviate the problem have been conducted.
    • ASSESSING POLICIES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

      Weersink, Alfons (Canadian Water Network, 2017)
      Agricultural activities depend on applications of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to soils. However, these nutrients may leach into groundwater or run off into surface water, with a detrimental effect on water quality in the watershed. Location-specific knowledge about the costs of beneficial management practices (BMPs) and how farmers make nutrient management decisions are needed to develop and implement effective water quality policies, programs and incentives. This information is important for federal and provincial governments, conservation authorities, environmental non-governmental organizations, farmers and others concerned with nutrient loading to surface waters.
    • ASSESSING POLICIES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

      Weersink, Alfons (Canadian Water Network, 2016)
      In this report, the term “nitrate” refers to nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N). Agricultural production depends on nutrient applications that supplement nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to soils. However, residual nutrients from these applications may run off into surface water and cause eutrophication and algae blooms, or leach into groundwater and cause contamination. Excessive levels of nitrates in drinking water have also been linked to methaemoglobinaemia, or blue baby syndrome.1 Land and nutrient management policies and programs - which can be championed by governments and local watershed associations, conservation authorities and other
    • Évaluation des politiques en vue d’améliorer la qualité de l’eau dans les paysages agricoles

      Weersink, Alfons (2015)
      L’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (Î.-P.-É.) présente une dépendance écologique et économique unique envers la qualité de l’eau, qui est affectée directement par les systèmes agricoles. Les résidents de l’île tirent leur eau potable uniquement de l’eau souterraine, et cette dernière contribue à hauteur d’environ 70 % aux eaux de surface comme les ruisseaux, les rivières et les estuaires. La dépendance des écosystèmes et des résidents de l’Î.-P.-É. envers la qualité de l’eau souterraine coexiste avec un secteur agricole intensif qui revêt une grande importance pour l’économie de la province. La pomme de terre est cultivée sur plus de 40 % des 1,4 million d’acres (567 000 hectares) de terres cultivables, et cette denrée génère plus de 75 % des recettes totales provenant de cette terre cultivée. Le recours massif à l’azote pour produire ces cultures à valeur élevée sur les sols sablonneux de l’Î.-P.-É. a entraîné une importante contamination de l’eau souterraine par le nitrate. Bien que le problème des nitrates excessifs et de la qualité de l’eau ait incité des hydrogéologues et des agronomes à étudier l’impact des pratiques de gestion du territoire agricole sur les lixiviats de nitrate au moyen de techniques de modélisation hydrologique, les chercheurs ont effectué peu d’analyses économiques sur les meilleures pratiques de gestion visant à aborder le problème