The River Loire near Orléans (France, 2007). © BRGM - François Michel

FAIRWAY: farm systems management and governance for producing good water quality for drinking water supplies

The H2020 FAIRWAY project aims to find solutions to agricultural impacts on both surface water and groundwater quality. BRGM co-leads the workpackage 3: Monitoring and Indicators.

logo of the fairway project

Safe drinking water is vital for human health. Diffuse pollution of nitrogen and pesticides from agriculture is the main obstacle to meet drinking water quality targets. Policies to protect drinking water resources have not achieved a consistent effectiveness in all European Union member states.

FAIRWAY is a European project conducted by a consortium of 22 partners in 13 countries, including the BRGM. It started on 1 June 2017.

Objectives of the FAIRWAY project

The overall objective of the FAIRWAY project is to review current approaches and measures for protection of drinking water resources against pollution caused by pesticides and nitrate from agriculture, and to identify and further develop innovative measures and governance approaches for a more effective drinking water protection, together with relevant local, regional and national actors.

Furthermore, the project attempts to:

  • increase the scientific understanding of the relationship between agriculture and drinking water protection,
  • increase the understanding of the social, technical and economic barriers to practical implementing of measures,
  • deliver innovative measures and tools to overcome these barriers,
  • develop protocols and data-sets for monitoring of farming practices and water quality, and to increase awareness and involvement of farmers and other citizens in the monitoring of water supplies,
  • develop effective governance approaches for small to large water supplies,
  • identify key strategies and good practices for drinking water protection and assess the implications of these options for policy and practice.

BRGM, co-leader of the workpackage "Monitoring and Indicators"

BRGM is co-leader of the workpackage 3 "Monitoring and Indicators", which aims to identify, evaluate and further develop transparent agri-environmental indicators to monitor and assess the impact of measures and good practices on drinking water quality.

BRGM brings its expertise on:

  • Modelling of agricultural contaminant transfer in soil and unsaturated zone
  • Pressure map and indicators of agricultural contamination of groundwater
  • Statistical analysis of groundwater quality time series
  • Development of GIS tools to asses groundwater quality and evolution

13 case studies in 12 countries, including France

FAIRWAY uses a multi-actor approach to facilitate effective cooperation between actors from different sectors and levels, including farmers, advisors, drinking water companies, scientists and policy makers.

Successful practices have been identified in 13 case studies in 12 countries. The practical experience generated within the case studies are being analysed in multi-actor platforms and different thematic work packages to identify the barriers and success factors associated with achieving water quality targets.

BRGM brings its expertise on the La Voulzie basin case study, which is part of the limestone aquifer of Champigny, the main groundwater resource of Ile de France, and a very important drinking water source for Paris.


Visit the FAIRWAY project website

See the FAIRWAY information system


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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727984.

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