Result-oriented approaches to the management of drinking water catchments in agricultural landscapes

Alexander Wezel, Maria Zipfer, Christine Aubry, Fabienne Barataud, Alois Heißenhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Management of water quality in drinking water catchments is of ongoing, high importance as nitrate concentrations are often still very high. We analysed the Augsburg catchment in Germany, a unique example where a result-oriented approach has been implemented. We investigated the historical evolution of the water protection programme, the result-oriented payment contracts with farmers, and farmer satisfaction with the contracts, based on interviews with the water utility and farmers as well as an analysis of the literature. Today, the water protection programme has been successfully implemented, and a significant reduction of nitrate concentration was achieved due to the following factors: (1) investment of non-negligible amounts of money for high compensation and remuneration payments, (2) different contract options, (3) farmers’ participation in the negotiation process for result-oriented payment contracts, (4) involvement of “outside” people and institutions in negotiation processes, (5) anticipation of starting a programme when nitrate levels were still far below legislative thresholds, and (6) a political and legislative framework allowing direct decisions by a water supplier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-202
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • farmers’ acceptance
  • municipal water supplier
  • outcome-oriented
  • payment by results
  • water protection programme


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