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A Desk-Study Assessment of the Contribution of Agriculture to bathing water: Phase II - ES0140

The objective of this project is to estimate the relative contributions of diffuse agricultural and urban associated point-sources/runoff to faecal indicator organism (FIO) concentrations in river waters at times of high flow, associated with the failure of bathing water stretches under the Bathing Water Directive. The assessments will be undertaken by utilising and enhancing existing CREH methodologies to predict concentrations of FIOs in diffuse runoff, through integration with nationally available land use and livestock distribution statistics, techniques for describing the river hydrograph and methodologies for estimating the relative contributions of point and diffuse discharges during the year. The project will enhance scientific knowledge by synthesising the outputs of the individual regression models generated by CREH from individual catchment studies into one regression model that will be applied to the selected river basins. The Phase I work (completed) identified the contributing river basin areas for each problem bathing water cluster and developed a prototype regression model to estimate the contribution of agriculture to FIO loadings. The Phase II work in this project will develop and refine the prototype model produced in Phase I to produce a framework application to assess the relative contribution of diffuse (agricultural) and point source (urban) FIO loadings to bathing water non-compliance in three problem bathing water clusters in England, viz: north-west England, north Devon and Somerset, and Yorkshire/Lincolnshire.

This study will inform Defra policy makers of the significance of diffuse agricultural sources to bathing water non-compliance focussed on three problem bathing water clusters. This is pertinent given the proposed revisions to the Bathing Water Directive that will reduce the compliance of UK beaches, after a long period of continuous water quality improvements due mainly to investment in sewerage system infrastructures.
Project Documents
• Final Report : A desk-study assessment of the contribution of agriculture to bathing water failures under the bathing water directive: Phase II   (814k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2005

Cost: £44,993
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Climate Change              
Water Demand              
Water Resources