Keywords: sustainable agriculture, cost effectiveness, environment, indicators, modelling, water pollution, soil pollution, scenario analysis, sustainability, uncertainty, valuation, water quality, quality control, sustainable development, France
Sustainable agriculture and water quality control: a structural approach
This paper reports on research empirically focused on the Brittany region in France, its agricultural sector and the impacts of agricultural activity on water quality. Our goal was to define and estimate indicators that illustrate the confrontation between environmental performance and economic cost criteria, in the context of a comparative scenario analysis related to the growth and technological change paths for agricultural production in the Brittany region. We develop an analysis through comparing the long-term tendencies of sectoral economic activity and selected ecological pressure indicators. Firstly, we identify the main environmental functions of water in the Brittany area and discuss the politics of agriculture. Then we present the structure of the scenario model used in our analysis, and show how the methods support a cost-effectiveness analysis. Finally, we discuss comparatively the results and address issues of uncertainty and data quality related to water and soil pollution.