Europe: European Commission to address impact of agriculture on drinking water

© Jenny Downing

The European Commission has launched a new call for proposals to tackle the issue of agricultural pollution and its impact on the supply of drinking water, with the European Union making a contribution of up to €5 million. The call is being launched under the EC’s Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016–2017, which is focused on food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy. Agriculture is the biggest source of pesticides and nitrate pollution in European freshwaters. According to the Commission, the diffuse pollution of water sources from the pesticides and fertilisers used in farming systems has been addressed with varying degrees of success by current policy tools.