The report illustrates how reducing pressures from agriculture is key to improving the status of Europe’s rivers, lakes, transitional, coastal waters and seas as well as groundwater bodies. An assessment shows that wider uptake of sustainable agricultural management practices is needed for improving the state of water, as well as biodiversity. Agricultural management practices should be based on agroecological principles, organic farming and nature-based solutions. To achieve this, more ambitious measures to promote sustainable agriculture are needed in the upcoming EU common agricultural policy 2021-2027.
The report also shows that a wide variety of management measures exist to tackle agricultural pressures on the water environment. While some progress has been made to reduce agricultural pressures in the 20th century, they remain at unsustainable levels with few signs of improvement over the past 10 years.