November 2018 – Oktober 2021
Financed by: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)
The Waterbuddies project aims to reduce the nutrient load of surface waters. It pursues a transdisciplinary and transformative approach, which requires the joint participation and close cooperation of various actors and experts (six subprojects/modules). In order to characterise dominant paths of nutrient losses and ecological effects, nutrient flows at field and farm level as well as effects of different sites (marsh, peat and groundwater-influenced mineral soils), management and seasonal variability are analysed. On this basis, site-specific differences in nutrient concentrations in their interactions between economic, hydrological and pedological processes can be identified, which influence the nutrient quality of the ditches. Only this knowledge makes it possible to use the right levers to derive concrete, practicable and effective recommendations for the management of grassland sites. These recommendations should be suitable for ensuring the low-loss circulation of nutrients (N and P) within the farming cycles in order to achieve a significant reduction of nutrient pollution and an improvement of the ecological potential of grassland ditches. As a result of the direct integration of farms into the experimental design, the need for action is to be promoted, practical and regionally optimised solutions are to be developed and multipliers for the implementation of practicable recommendations in a nutrient-efficient agriculture also outside the project area are to be won.