Agricultural Nitrogen Pollution of Freshwater in Germany. The Governance of Sustaining a Complex Problem

Kirschke, Sabrina, Häger, Astrid, Kirschke, Dieter and Völker, Jeanette, (2019). Agricultural Nitrogen Pollution of Freshwater in Germany. The Governance of Sustaining a Complex Problem. Water, 11(12), 1-19

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Kirschke, Sabrina
    Häger, Astrid
    Kirschke, Dieter
    Völker, Jeanette
    Title Agricultural Nitrogen Pollution of Freshwater in Germany. The Governance of Sustaining a Complex Problem
    Appearing in Water
    Volume 11
    Issue No. 12
    Publication Date 2019-11-21
    Place of Publication Basel, Switzerland
    Publisher MDPI
    Start page 1
    End page 19
    Language eng
    Abstract The nitrogen pollution of freshwater heavily affects social–ecological systems. To reduce negative effects, research calls for an integrated approach, including a coherent and diverse set of governance instruments. Thus far, however, the effects of (non-)integration have been blurry. Taking Germany as an example, this study sheds light on the actual complexity of the problem along five dimensions of complexity (goals, variables, dynamics, interconnections, and uncertainties). It also sheds light on related governance instruments (rules, information, and economic incentives) and their impacts on problem-solving (implementation of specific measures). Analyses include expert interviews on complexity, European water and agricultural policies, and official data on the planning and implementation of measures to reduce nitrogen concentrations. Results show Germany’s path of sustaining a complex problem by using a non-coherent and low diversity governance approach, avoiding rigorous rules, and barely using economic instruments to deal with nitrogen surpluses. A stronger integration of water and agricultural policies, as well as a better use of economic instruments, are suggested to enhance water quality in the future.
    UNBIS Thesaurus WATER POLLUTION
    WATER QUALITY
    Keyword Common Agricultural Policy
    European Water Framework Directive
    Nitrates Directive
    Wicked problems
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2019
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.3390/w11122450
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    Created: Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 18:41:00 JST by Eric Siegmund on behalf of UNU FLORES