A model-supported participatory process for nutrient management: a socio-legal analysis of a bottom-up implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A methodology for local stakeholders' involvement in water management using a catchment model as a platform for dialogue has been developed and tested in the Kaggebo Bay drainage area in the southeast of Sweden. The process involved farmers, rural households not connected to municipal wastewater treatment facilities, local and regional authorities as well as different water and agricultural experts. This paper aims to assess whether and how the methodology has succeeded in encouraging social learning and promoting action and which barriers can be identified. The assessment shows that the methodology is able to create confidence in the process and increase the willingness to act as the methodology was able to adapt the form and content of the dialogue to better fit the cognitive and relational needs of involved stakeholders. It is also shown that the process may lead to a probable improvement of the eutrophication situation. However, if these types of processes are to serve not only as a basis for social learning and action at the local level, but also as the basis for a broader process of societal learning, then a mechanism to confer local ideas to the regional and national levels has to be clarified.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • models, participation, social learning, sustainability, WFD
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-389
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch