Water erosion risk on agricultural surfaces

Project information


Country: France

Client: Agrochemical company 


Project description

Climate and land use changes have made the problem of run-off and soil erosion one of the most significant challenges for the European Union. Water erosion can cause considerable soil loss, which can have serious consequences for food production, drinking water quality, ecosystems and the carbon stock. An agrochemical company sought to identify the most vulnerable areas regarding water erosion, in order to justify the implementation of buffer zones along streams and to take specific actions against surface water contamination. In order to identify these areas, TAUW performed spatial analyses (GIS : ArcGIS) using several data sources: topography, type of crop and the RUSLE model (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation). We made the most of the GIS software ArcGIS and of open data available to the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and to Géoportail in France and worked closely with the client to make necessary adjustments

How did the cooperation with the client go? 

We cooperated with the client throughout the study to adjust how each factor would have to be included into spatial analyses and calculations, and then, when the results were available, how to present them according to the purpose of the mediums.

The results

In addition to our report for the client, we provided concise, illustrative maps for commercial and technical field workers.  The next steps of the project will be to identify the most vulnerable areas in order to implement mitigation measures for run-off, erosion and surface contamination.  With this project, TAUW supported an agrochemical company which is active in promoting good practices using pesticides. Additionally, the lessons learned in this project will help raise awareness about run-off and the consequences for surface water quality and crop production.


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