Protection of water bodies; management of riparian strips

Protection of water bodies;
Management of riparian strips


Water is life. It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle.

Protection of water resources, of fresh and salt water ecosystems and of the water we drink is therefore one of the cornerstones of environmental protection in Europe. 

Similar to a full range of economic activities, agriculture depends on water. A healthy aquatic and water-dependent ecosystem thereby provides a necessary basis for agricultural activities. On the other hand, agriculture, as well as other economic activities, has huge impacts on the status of waterbodies and water itself. Chemical and mineral agricultural inputs are found more and more often in ground and surface waters. Actions to hinder the entrance of agricultural products into waterbodies are needed on regional, national and international level as water pollution is a cross border issue.

Further reading



The report Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture (2017) by OECD recommends using a hotspot approach to respond to future water risks.

As an input to the design of a Legal Instrument on Water Reuse in Europe, this report by the European Comussion (2017) recommends minimum quality requirements for water reuse in agricultural irrigation and aquifer recharge based on a risk management approach.

The LIFE AGROWETLANDS II aims to counteract soil degradation and wetlands natural ecosystems alteration through a targeted and efficient management of the water resources (precision farming).