Agricultural Expansion and Water Pollution: The Yin-Yang in the Quality of Natural Water Resources
"Global increased agricultural productivity aims at meeting the food and commercial demands on agriculture. This boost is associated with agricultural expansion practices including irrigation and use of fertilizers, which could increase negative environmental effects, such as natural water resources contamination. These require robust management mechanisms, including adequate policies which recognise and address increasing agricultural production trends and the associated water risks. Accordingly, this issue paper explores the drivers and pressures of water pollution from the perspective of agricultural expansion. It offers insights into the implications of this expansion for water resources and discusses the necessary policy responses for the agriculture and water sectors, through several case studies. The paper recognises the efforts put forward by regional bodies and national policies in establishing water quality guidelines. However, it also emphasises the need for such guidelines to take better account of the increasing demand and subsequent supply of fertilizers and pesticides, and of the resulting water contamination."