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Demonstration Test Catchment phase 2 - WQ0225

The Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) programme was set up in 2009 and has been delivered in 3 phases. Overall, the programme of work was to test the hypothesis: “it is possible to cost-effectively reduce the impact of agricultural diffuse pollution to water on ecological function, while maintaining food production, through the implementation of multiple on-farm measures”.
Phase 2 ran from January 2015 to March 2018. Phase 2 maintained the unique research platforms established in the experimental target sub-catchments and evaluated the extent to which these were indicative of the wider catchments. Phase 2 focused on socio-economic aspects of catchment management, and extrapolating the work undertaken in phase 1.
Projects include:
1) Farmer survey on spatially targeted approaches to reduce diffuse agricultural pollution. This project utilised a combination of farmer opinion surveys and an economic assessment to quantify/monetise farmer’s willingness to accept compensation to implement spatially targeted diffuse mitigation measures on their land.
2) Planning and implementing mitigation interventions. This project consolidated the research on pollution mitigation measures undertaken in the DTC catchments.

2.2 Objectives

The general aims of the project and specific evidence objectives are described in Defra’s specification under this call (FG1114). Overall, the aim is to implement and test sets of measures across the three Demonstration Test Catchment consortia in order to generate best practice approaches to diffuse pollution mitigation that can be more widely applied across England and Wales. To achieve the overall aim, this proposal has the following specific objectives:

1. Coordinate work on the testing of measures in the Demonstration Test Catchments. This will include measures that are installed through the following means:
• Experimental measures installed directly by this project
• Installed on a voluntary basis by participating farmers
• Measures funded through agri-environment, England woodland grants, Catchment Sensitive Farming or other schemes.
• Experimental measures implemented by other R&D projects.

2. Identify a suite of the most efficient and effective measures to reduce diffuse water pollution to levels that are acceptable whilst ensuring productive and competitive farming. This includes identification of the level of intervention needed and appropriate locations for measures.
3. Determine the direct and indirect cost of these measures, including implementation, cost impact on production and savings due to more effective resource management.
4. Assess the lifespan and maintenance requirements of measures.
5. Working with Component 3 assess the attitudes of farmers towards acceptance of different measures.
6. Integrate and compare the data and insights from Objectives 2-5 on a cross-consortia basis.
7. Provide a preliminary assessment of the impact of evaluated measures on the profitability and productivity of farming systems across England and Wales.
8. Provide evidence to Defra and the Environment Agency on a regular basis to help inform policy development regarding CAP negotiations, WFD revisions and other activities related to diffuse pollution mitigation.
9. Provide national guidance on applying individual and combination of measures to tackle diffuse agricultural water pollution at the catchment scale.

Achievement of Objectives 2-5 is crucial for the successful accomplishment of Objectives 6-9. Some contractors will have more involvement in objectives 2-5 than the latter ones, but all recognise the need for extensive collaboration and team working if the overall project is to be successful.

Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : WQ0225. Planning and Implementing Mitigation Interventions Final Report   (5962k)
• TRP - Technical Report : WQ0225. Catchment matcher   (1668k)
• TRP - Technical Report : WQ0225. Farmer Survey on spacially targeted approaches to reduce pollution   (1182k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2017

Cost: £1,134,485
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of East Anglia (UEA), Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), Newcastle University, Lancaster University , Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Water Pollution              
Water Quality              
Water Quality and Use