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FAIRWAY - Farm systems management and governance for producing good water quality for drinking water supplies

The FAIRWAY project aims to review approaches for protection of drinking water resources against pollution by pesticides and nitrate, and develop innovative measures and governance approaches for effective drinking water protection.

Project period
EU H2020
External webpages
Research section
Water and society
Contact person
Ingrid Nesheim

About the project

The project is coordinated by Wageningen University & Research and includes 22 Europan partners, including NIVA. It is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Find the official Fairway website here. Tweets by ‎@FairwayEU or follow FAIRWAY on Facebook for news from the project.

Project structure

The project is organized into eight workpackages (WPs) designed to meet the objectives (figure below). 




The different work packages of FAIRWAY

NIVA leads WP2 on multi-actor platforms and case studies, contributes to WP5 support farm water management, WP6 on legal policy and governance, WP7 on integration & recommendations at EU level and WP8 dissemination and communication. 

Workpackage 2 on multi-actor platforms (MAP) and case studies forms a central link between the other WPs. It is an aim to actively use and further develop the Multi-Actor Platforms (MAP) approach in each of the 13 case studies in the project. By tracking and analyzing successes and failures of the MAP approach, FAIRWAY aims to enhance the understanding of and practices of MAPs in such cases.

Case study approach

A multi-actor approach is devised to ensure meaningful stakeholder involvement, with real impacts on the research process and outcomes through co-creation of knowledge and solutions. Such engagement should take place all through the project: from the planning of work and experiments, their execution up until the dissemination of results and a possible demonstration phase (EC 2017).

FAIRWAY involves 13 case studies across EU, including a large spectrum of farming systems, environmental zones and drinking water protection areas (figure below). In each case study a  multi-actor approach is used to facilitate for effective cooperation between actors from different sectors and levels, including farmers, advisors, drinking water companies, scientists and policy makers.

case studies map

In some case studies, an existing multi-actor platform (MAPs) has been used for engagement, in other case studies a multi-actor platform has been established for engagement in the project. It is an aim of the project to shed light on challenges and how they have been addressed, and explore challenges and opportunities for the sustainability of MAPs beyond the FAIRWAY project.

The Norwegian case study is Vansjø catchment (Morsa sub-basin district) in the south-eastern Norway. Read more about Vansjø case study by following link in the menu to the left. 

Find more information about the different case studies on the FAIRWAY website,

Expected project results

  • Recommendations for innovative measures and governance approaches to protect drinking water resources from nitrogen and pesticide pollution.
  • Scientific understanding of the relationship between agriculture and drinking water quality.
  • Identification of barriers to the practical implementation of measures.
  • Harmonized monitoring protocols and datasets for monitoring water quality and key farming practices.
  • Increased awareness and involvement of farmers and other citizens.


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