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The Irish Agricultural Catchments Programme: catchment selection using spatial multi-criteria decision analysis

Fealy, R. M., Buckley, C., Mechan, S., Melland, A., Mellander, P. E., Shortle, G., Wall, D. and Jordan, Philip (2010) The Irish Agricultural Catchments Programme: catchment selection using spatial multi-criteria decision analysis. SOIL USE AND MANAGEMENT, 26 (3). pp. 225-236. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00291.x


The Nitrates Directive is a European Union legislative framework for managing agricultural nutrient transfers from land to water and, in the Republic of Ireland, is the main Programme of Measures for agriculture in the Water Framework Directive regulations. As part of the requirement for evaluating the Nitrates Directive National Action Programme and an associated derogation for intensive grassland farming, Ireland is monitoring environmental and economic effectiveness at the catchment scale. The selection of representative catchments has been undertaken using national spatial datasets in a Geographical Information System and a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework from over 1500 possible candidates. This ranked catchments (4-12 km2) in terms of maximizing agricultural landuse and intensity, and defining areas of predominantly grassland and arable enterprises. Catchments were also ranked according to potential phosphorus and/or nitrogen transfer risk using metrics of surface and sub-surface flow path susceptibility, respectively. A selection of four catchments has been augmented with a grassland catchment in a karst landscape that used individual MCDA data layers to define suitability. Some validation of the nutrient transfer risk from each catchment is presented from high resolution water quality data.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Nitrates Directive; GIS; MCDA; catchments
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Freshwater Sciences
ID Code:18270
Deposited By: Professor Phil Jordan
Deposited On:10 May 2011 11:58
Last Modified:10 May 2011 11:58

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