Presentation on theme: "1 Lecture 1. Introduction to Agricultural Pollution Control Including particular reference to Eastern and Central Europe Prepared by Assoc. Prof. Philip."— Presentation transcript:
1 Lecture 1. Introduction to Agricultural Pollution Control Including particular reference to Eastern and Central Europe Prepared by Assoc. Prof. Philip Chiverton, SLU
2 Pollution : ‘the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the environment, which are liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine ecosystems’ Agricultural pollution is, thus, the direct or indirect introduction of substances – particularly excessive nutrients (such as nitrates (N) and phosphorous (P) ) - or energy into the environment as a result of mans agricultural activities.
3 How can Agricultural Pollution harm our environment?
4 Eutrophic means nutrient-rich, and eutrophication literally means enrichment with nutrients, although nowadays the term is more often used in a negative sense to mean over-enrichment. Nutrients - especially nitrogen and phosphorus Nutrients - especially nitrogen and phosphorus - are vital for marine life. But the presence of excessive - are vital for marine life. But the presence of excessive nutrients can seriously disturb the functioning of marine ecosystems.
5 Excessive nutrient inputs into a water body induce biological, chemical and physical changes in aquatic plant and animal communities, often leading to oxygen depletion, especially in deeper waters. Greenish, murky water is typically the first sign of eutrophication as microscopic plants and algae grow profusely, consuming the surplus nutrients. But algae are short-lived, and when they die they sink to the bottom of the sea, where their decomposition uses up oxygen. The worst affected areas can become completely anoxic. In the absence of oxygen, decomposition can release toxic hydrogen sulphide, poisoning organisms and making the sea-bed lifeless.
6 Photos from: Finnish Institute of Marine Research (http://www2.fimr.fi/en/itamerikanta/galleria/15. Bluegreen algal blooms, Gulf of Finland
7 Weather conditions can alleviate or accelerate eutrophication. Mild, wet winters are usually bad news for shallow, coastal waters, as nutrients are washed from farmland into rivers, lakes and ultimately the sea. This creates suitable condition for intense algal blooms in the spring, which can lead to serious oxygen depletion, especially if the summer is then warm and calm.
8 Photos from: Finnish Institute of Marine Research (http://www2.fimr.fi/en/itamerikanta/galleria/15. Bluegreen algal bloom, Gulf of Finland 6 th August, 2002
9 Algal bloom on the Fyris River near SLU in Uppsala – the river drains the intensively cultivated agricultural plain of Uppland
10 So the rivers and seas turn green for a while – Who cares!?!
11 There are many reasons why governments and authorities throughout the world are deeply concerned about the effects of agricultural pollution. Not least is the danger to 1)Public health. In drinking water, high concentrations of nitrate can cause methemoglobinemia, a potentially fatal nitrate can cause methemoglobinemia, a potentially fatal disease in infants also known as blue baby syndrome. disease in infants also known as blue baby syndrome. 2)Fish stocks and marine biodiversity. Eutrophication destroys (a) spawning areas for economically valuable fish, and (a) spawning areas for economically valuable fish, and (b) habitats for other marine life. (b) habitats for other marine life. 3)The tourist industry. Poisonous and/or unsightly and odorous coastal waters discourage tourists! coastal waters discourage tourists!
12 Problems and causes - a summary Nutrient over-enrichment of coastal ecosystems generally triggers ecological changes that decrease the biological diversity of bays and estuaries While moderate N enrichment of some coastal waters may increase fish production, over-enrichment generally degrades the marine food web that supports commercially valuable fish. The marked increase in nutrient pollution of coastal waters has been accompanied by an increase in harmful algal blooms, and in at least some cases, pollution has triggered these blooms.
13 Problems and causes cont’d High nutrient levels and the changes they cause in water quality and the makeup of the algal community are detrimental to the health of coral reefs and the diversity of animal life supported by seaweed and kelp communities. Research during the past decade confirms that N is the chief culprit in eutrophication and other impacts of nutrient over- enrichment in temperate coastal waters, while P is most problematic in eutrophication of freshwater lakes. Human conversion of atmospheric N into biologically useable forms, principally synthetic inorganic fertilizers, now matches the natural rate of biological N fixation from all the land surfaces of the earth.
14 Problems and causes cont’d Both agriculture and the burning of fossil fuels contribute significantly to non-point flows of N to coastal waters, either as direct runoff or airborne pollutants. N from animal wastes that leaks directly to surface waters or is volatilized to the atmosphere as ammonia may be the largest single source of N that moves from agricultural operations into coastal waters.
15 How do different agricultural activities contribute to pollution, and how does this affect our ground and surface waters??
16 Agricultural impacts on water quality Agricultural activity 1. Tillage/ploughing Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Sediment/turbidity: sediments carry phosphorus and pesticides carry phosphorus and pesticides adsorbed to sediment particles; adsorbed to sediment particles; siltation of river beds and loss siltation of river beds and loss of habitat, spawning ground, etc. of habitat, spawning ground, etc.
18 Agricultural activity Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater 2. Fertilizing Runoff of nutrients, especially phosphorus, leading to eutrophication causing taste and odour in public water supply, excess algae growth leading to deoxygenating of water and fish kills. Leaching of nitrate to groundwater; excessive levels are a threat to public health are a threat to public health.
20 Agricultural activity 3. Manure spreading Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Carried out as a fertilizer activity; spreading on frozen ground results in high levels of contamination of receiving waters by pathogens, metals, phosphorus and nitrogen leading to eutrophication and potential contamination. Contamination of ground-water, especially by nitrogen especially by nitrogen
22 Agricultural activity 4. Feedlots/animal paddocks Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Contamination of surface water with many pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) leading to chronic public health problems. Also contamination by metals contained in urine and faeces. Potential leaching of nitrogen, metals, etc. to groundwater.
24 Agricultural activity 5. Irrigation Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Runoff of salts leading to salinization of surface waters; runoff of fertilizers and pesticides to surface waters with ecological damage, bioaccumulation in edible fish species, etc. High levels of trace elements such as selenium can occur with serious ecological damage and potential human health impacts. Enrichment of groundwater with salts, nutrients (especially nitrate).
26 Agricultural activity 6. Clear cutting Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Erosion of land, leading to high levels of turbidity in rivers, siltation of bottom habitat, etc. Disruption and change of hydrologic regime, often with loss of perennial streams; causes public health problems due to loss of potable water. Disruption of hydrologic regime, often with increased surface runoff and decreased groundwater recharge; affects surface water by decreasing flow in dry periods and concentrating nutrients and contaminants in surface water.
29 Agricultural activity 7. Silviculture Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Broad range of effects: pesticide runoff and contamination of surface water and fish; erosion and sedimentation problems.
31 Agricultural activity 8. Aquaculture Impacts Surface water Groundwater Surface water Groundwater Release of high levels of nutrients to surface water and groundwater to surface water and groundwater through feed and faeces, leading through feed and faeces, leading to serious eutrophication. to serious eutrophication.
32 Aquaculture – fish farming adds to the nutient burden
33 So, we have a problem and the authorities are aware of it. What policies exist within e.g. the European Union to alleviate the problem alleviate the problem?
34 Ironically the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy has tended to exasperate the problem! A recent study carried out by the European Nature Heritage Fund concluded that: ’most of the EU’s agricultural subsidies exert a negative ’most of the EU’s agricultural subsidies exert a negative impact on the environment, for the majority of payments to farmers are not tied to any environmental regulations’ Over 60% of the agriculture budget’s total 44 billion Euro’s currently go to the arable crops sector, and these subsidies are not tied to environmental regulations
35 Grassland - so important for biological diversity and forage cropping – is excluded from the payments. Maize, on the other hand, is heavily subsidized such as no other crop, and ecologically it is highly problematic because especially large amounts of fertilizer are used in maize farming. In Germany this has lead to a massive increase in maize farming, and at least 25% reduction of meadows and pastures over the past twenty years.
36 Agricultural water pollution issues surfaced in connection with the 1980 EU directive on drinking water, which required member states to ensure that certain quality objectives for drinking water were met by 1985. But, during the second half of the 1980’s, it became clear that most member states had not achieved these quality objectives. In particular, the maximum pollutant level for nitrate in drinking water, set at 50 mg per liter, was exceeded in many areas.
37 We will see later that further reforms to the CAP in the late 1980’s (that offered subsidies to farmers who reduced livestock density, decreased fertilizer use or switched to organic farming or other extensive forms of production), some National control measures introduced by individual member states, and the introduction in 1991 of the Nitrate Directive, are having some effects. Annex 11 of the Nitrate directive outlines Code(s) of Good Agricultural Practice with the objective of reducing pollution by nitrates.
38 For some Candidate countries and Newly Applied States problems regarding agricultural pollution of water are compounded by the lack of a good Agricultural Advisory Service infrastructure.
39 Let us now examine the situation in and around our respective seas i.e. The Baltic Sea and The Black Sea
40 I’ll start with the sea nearest home which of course is The Baltic sea The Baltic sea
42 Farming the land can pollute the sea During recent decades the Baltic Sea has been burdened with increasing inputs of nutrients from agricultural sources such as manure and fertilisers. The consequent eutrophication has widely disrupted marine ecosystems. There have been reductions in the most harmful agricultural emissions, but farmland remains one of the main sources of the surplus nutrients entering the Baltic Sea.
45 The environmental quality of the Baltic Sea is largely influenced by the inputs of pollutants - particularly excessive nutrients Nutrients can enter the sea in runoff from arable land, mainly via rivers and streams, but also along coasts; or in the form via rivers and streams, but also along coasts; or in the form of deposition from the air. More than 25 of the 132 serious pollution hot spots identified around the Baltic Sea since 1992 have already been cleaned up.
51 Deep water oxygen concentration in the Baltic Proper and Gulf of Finland in 1999 Hypoxia (oxygen concentration < 2 ml/l, pink areas) and Anoxia (with presence of hydrogen sulphide, red areas) in 1999.
52 General Information Hotspot number 128 (Laholm Bay) Type Agricultural Runoff Priority No Country SE Country SE Receiving water body Kattegat Receiving water body Kattegat Aim Reduction of nutrient leaching Aim Reduction of nutrient leaching Measures proposed Limit to animal density, winter green fields, increase storage cap and restrict handling of manure Latest Update 1999
57 The 1990s - a decade of change for farming A crucial change in agriculture in the Baltic Sea region during the 1990s has been the reintroduction of private ownership of farmland in countries in transition between the centrally- planned economy and the market economy. Through the 1990s prices for agricultural products remained low, while production costs were high. Agricultural production decreased overall, resulting in smaller production units, and substantial reductions in the use of inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides. In the future, however, significant reconstruction of the agricultural sector is to be expected, and increases in productivity. The transitional countries will need assistance to ensure that environmentally sustainable agricultural practices are adopted.
58 In the EU countries changes were less dramatic, but the usage of both manure and chemical fertilisers decreased widely. In Germany, particularly in the east, the total area of farmland shrank considerably during the 1990s. In Finland many farms also stopped operating, and phosphorus emissions from agricultural sources declined significantly, as they had earlier in Sweden. The reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the EU in the early 1990s involved overall reductions in farm subsidies, and new incentives to promote environmentally favourable agricultural practices. Requirements for subsidies now include the adoption of farming practices designed to minimise animal waste and fertiliser runoff. The CAP is now also being gradually adopted by the countries hoping to join the EU, so gradually adopted by the countries hoping to join the EU, so within a few years a common set of agricultural policies and within a few years a common set of agricultural policies and subsidies should cover ten of the region's fourteen countries.
62 Nutrient inputs Nutrients enter the Baltic Sea either in water flowing into the sea, or from the atmosphere. Rivers and coastal point sources such as urban and industrial wastewater outlets account for most of the nutrient load - in fact three times more nitrogen and ten times more phosphorus than the atmospheric input.
66 Pig farm waste lagoon – a source of ammonia!
67 Trends in nutrient inputs · The inputs of phosphorus to the Baltic Sea are now much lower than in the 1980s, thanks to improved wastewater treatment. · But in recent years this decrease has slowed, and nutrient inputs from rivers evidently did not decrease during the period 1994-98. · Inputs of nitrogen, which largely originate from diffuse sources such as farmland have been more difficult to reduce. · Annual atmospheric nitrogen deposition into the Baltic Sea sources such as farmland have been more difficult to reduce. · Annual atmospheric nitrogen deposition into the Baltic Sea decreased by nearly 40% between 1985 and 1997. decreased by nearly 40% between 1985 and 1997.
68 One of the non-point sources significantly contributing to the pollution of the Baltic Sea is the agriculture sector, which is estimated to account for 30-35 per cent of the total nitrogen load to the Baltic. It is dominated by the consumption of the nitrogen fertilizers for agricultural lands. The massive waterborne nitrogen input to the Baltic Sea is a major cause of marine eutrophication.
72 The Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area“ - more usually known as the Helsinki Convention - more usually known as the Helsinki Convention
73 The 1974 Convention For the first time ever, all the sources of pollution around an entire sea were made subject to a single convention, signed in 1974 by the then seven Baltic coastal states. The 1974 Convention entered into force on 3 May 1980.
74 The 1992 Convention In the light of political changes, and developments in international environmental and maritime law, a new convention was signed in 1992 by all the states bordering on the Baltic Sea, and the European Community. After ratification the Convention entered into force on 17 January 2000. The Convention covers the whole of the Baltic Sea area, including inland waters as well as the water of the sea itself and the sea-bed. Measures are also taken in the whole catchment area of the Baltic Sea to reduce land-based pollution.
75 The Helsinki Commission is responsible for monitoring and implementing: and implementing: The 1988 Ministerial Declaration, in particular concerning The 1988 Ministerial Declaration, in particular concerning reaching the target of 50% reductions in nutrient inputs. reaching the target of 50% reductions in nutrient inputs. The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP) Action Programme (JCP) established in 1992 to facilitate and monitor the elimination established in 1992 to facilitate and monitor the elimination of the 132 most polluting sources within the Baltic Sea of the 132 most polluting sources within the Baltic Sea catchment area – known as "hot-spots". catchment area – known as "hot-spots".
76 The countries in the Baltic Sea drainage basin have committed to most of the conventions that touch upon the issue of eutrophication. The most important treaty, the Helsinki convention has all the coastal countries actively involved. Some of the more newly formed states, such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have not yet signed all of the treaties for monitoring & pollution. An important treaty, the Aarhus convention, address the openness and public access of environmental information, has not yet been signed by Russia.
77 Pollution & MonitoringGeneral CountryHelsinkiUNCLOSNOxWetlandsAarhusEIA Belarus Czech Rep Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Latvia Lithuania Norway Poland Russia Sweden Ukraine Key Not signed Signed, but not entered or accepted Entered or accepted Not applicable
78 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) This convention is very wide in scope, and covers all use of international seas, environmental, but also shipping and exploitation. The environmental parts of this convention cover monitoring, technical assistance and the establishment of basic environmental principles.
79 Convention of Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) - NOx Protocol (LRTAP) - NOx Protocol The objectives of this convention is to monitor and limit the long-distance pollution of some hazardous substances, to man and environment. Among these are nitrous oxide (NOx), sulphur and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The NOx protocol was selected for this indicator.
80 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) Wetlands are of importance as a natural barrier for nutrients in the drainage basin. The Ramsar Convention seeks to reduce the loss of wetlands, and to conserve and protect.
81 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus convention) The Aarhus convention is the youngest in this presentation (that is why most countries have just signed it yet). This convention was created with the objective to ensure public access to all forms of environmental information, such as monitoring and assessment. environmental information, such as monitoring and assessment.
82 Convention of Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are studies on the environmental implications of development, such as construction. Countries committed to this convention are required to create an EIA and to go for international co-operation in all development that can effect the environment of the neighbouring countries.
83 Now let us look at the situation around your sea The Black Sea The Black Sea
93 Perceived major problems Loss of habitats, notably wetlands and shelf areas, supporting important biotic resources supporting important biotic resources Loss or imminent loss of endangered species and their genomes Replacement of indigenous Black Sea species with exotic ones with exotic ones Degradation of the Black Sea landscape
94 Perceived major problems Inadequate protection of marine and coastal resources from maritime accidents resources from maritime accidents Unsanitary conditions in many beaches, bathing and shellfish-growing waters shellfish-growing waters
95 Polluted beaches don’t attract many tourists!!