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More people, more food… worse water? - Water Pollution from Agriculture: a global review











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    Book (series)
    Water Quality Management and Control of Water Pollution 2000
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    In its recent examination of global water scarcity (1997) the United Nations system identified water quality as one of the key concerns in Asia in the next century. This concern is based on the fact that water quality degradation is so severe in many Asian countries that it is placing serious constraints on economic growth; it continues to be a serious problem for human health and it is causing widespread negative environmental effects. The problem of future management of water quality in Asia i s a complex one, and requires re-examination of a number of key areas – including technical, institutional, legal and governance issues. Within this context, FAO organized a Regional Workshop on Water Quality Management and Control of Water Pollution which took place in Bangkok, Thailand from 26 to 30 October 1999. This publication contains the report and recommendations of the Workshop and the edited versions of 18 papers presented and discussed during the meeting.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Environmental capacity; An Approach to Marine Pollution Prevention 1986
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    The aim of this Report is to provide guidelines for the assessment of the impact of potentially harmful substances released into the marine environment. The Environmental (also known as receiving, absorptive or assimilative) Capacity is defined as a property of the environment, a measurement of its ability to accommodate a particular activity or rate of an activity, such as the discharge of contaminants, without unacceptable impact. The Environmental Capacity can be apportioned for various use s. The Report proposes the use of a strategy to combat marine pollution based on this concept of Environmental Capacity. It provides the scientific rationale for the assessment of this entity, the methodology of calculation based on modelling, guidelines for its systematic application, monitoring and reassessment, and provides a number of case studies in the form of examples involving various contaminants and different geographical areas. The Report opens with a short introduction outlining the basic concepts and premisses which lie behind the acceptance of disposal of wastes in the sea. When a development is first proposed, its impact on the whole environment, together with the costs and benefits to society as a whole, must be taken into account before the plans are actually implemented. The procedure is often now known as environmental impact assessment (EIA). This wide-ranging procedure embraces far more than the scientific assessment of the impact of pollutants on the environme nt and as such lies outside the terms of reference of GESAMP. Accordingly, this Report concentrates on describing the parameters and processes which have to be taken into account in the assessment of the impact of pollutants on marine organisms, ecosystems, amenities and human health, as a consequence of any discharges to the marine environment. The methodology of assessment of Environmental Capacity as proposed in the Report, involves critical pathway analysis for both conservative and non- conservative contaminants, establishment of environmental and water quality objectives, criteria and standards. Faced with the inevitability of several sources of uncertainty in real-life conditions, a probabilistic approach is proposed as an alternative to deterministic analysis. The approach proposed is Decision Analysis, and this is exemplified by a flow diagram. The Report does not describe in detail how to gather the basic data or to carry out practical tasks such as conducting toxicity t ests or measuring water movements. To have done so would simply have duplicated material which is already available in the open literature and therefore accessible to those persons who will be brought in to advise or otherwise provide expert opinion on any project. The Report does, however, provide guidelines on how to utilize information to assess the overall impact of the activity on the marine environment. Guidance is provided on those procedures which are most likely to ensure that the activ ity can be contained within the capacity of the marine environment to receive wastes without causing unacceptable effects. The methodology of assessment of the Environmental Capacity is based on scientific research and resulting data. It is, by definition, site- and contaminant-specific. It is accomplished in stages, the preliminary assessment can be accomplished using approximations such as single-box and simple mass-balance models, and by averaging over larger time scales on the assumption o f steady-state conditions. As more data become available and transport and modification processes become better understood, more accurate values of Environmental Capacity will be obtained. These can then be used in environmentally compatible development planning and project implementation.
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    Project
    Reducing Water Pollution from Agrochemicals in Litani River and Qaraoun Lake, Governorate of Bekaa - UTF/LEB/028/LEB 2023
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    Water pollution in the LitaniRiver and Lake Qaraoun, in the Governorate of Bekaa, poses a serious problem for human health and the environment. The source of pollution, originating from the agricultural sector, is mainly due to the excessive and indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides by farmers. In particular, the runoff from agriculture contributes to poor water quality, as farmers do not employ good agricultural practices (GAP) for preserving natural resources in soil or irrigation water management, pest and crop management, and often overuse agrochemical applications. Against this background, the main objective of the project was to reduce underground, LitaniRiver and Lake Qaraounwater pollution through the promotion and application of GAP, including integrated pest management (IPM), by farmers in the Upper LitaniRiver Basin and Lake Qaraoun.

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