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Economic Evaluation of MAFF’s Nitrate R & D Programme - ER02050

Nitrate concentration in surface and ground waters has been increasing in recent decades. This has been a cause for concern for two main reasons. First, because of possible risks to human health posed by high levels of nitrate in drinking water. Within the EU, the concentration of nitrate in drinking water has been regulated since 1980 at a maximum concentration of 50mg 1-1. Secondly, elevated levels of nitrate are considered to be significant contributors to eutrophication in some marine and costal waters. The EU Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires Member States to reduce nitrate pollution by introducing controls on agriculture in water catchments with (or at risk of) excessive nitrate concentration. To comply with these requirements, the UK Government has so far identified and designated 68 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) in England and Wales, two in Scotland and three in northern Ireland. The NVZ Action Programme consists of measures to reduce nitrate leaching and came into effect in December 1998. The UK is currently considering proposals for further NVZ designations arising from a wider interpretation of the Nitrate Directive following a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

This evaluation will assess the former MAFF’s Nitrate R&D Programme. The evaluation will seek to assess how effectively funds have been spent in the past, what was achieved and how this can help inform decisions on future research programmes.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Economic Evaluation of MAFF’s Nitrate R & D Programme   (12k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2002

Cost: £68,240
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Drew Associates
Economic Policy Evaluation              
Pollution Prevention and Control