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Client case Biodiversity 2014

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Client: Brabant Water Company

Respondent: Ruud van Nieuwenhuijze, policymaker

Research project: Buffer Farmers


Form: Field research at farmers working near the water extraction area. In collaboration with: Brabant Water Company. Aim: Build a partnership to make sustainable water management possible. Reason: Due to climate change, the risk of water scarcity is increasing. For both farmers and water companies, risk management is very important. Method: Assess which measures work best on individual farms. Think of measures like using compost and reducing soil tillage - which can improve the water holding capacity of the soils - or choosing crops that need less water - such as sorghum.

Main reason to choose the Louis Bolk Institute:

"The Louis Bolk lnstitute is able to apply an integrated approach, and looks at interrelationships. Society is becoming ever more complex, particularly in terms of keeping the growing cities supplied with food, energy and water. Until now, everyone would approach these issues mostly from their own narrow discipline. However, by working together we can develop much better solutions."

What is the Brabant Water Companys' opinion of the Louis Bolk Institute?

Ruud van Nieuwenhuijze: "The broad view enabled researcher Nick van Eekeren to initiate several promising innovations, which he has field-tested together with the farmers. We have learned that if you work well together, the technical solution will follow as a matter of course. Each of us has a piece of the puzzle. Therefore, we need each other to get the whole picture."

More about the Louis Bolk Institute

Ruud van Nieuwenhuijze, partner of the Louis Bolk Institute in the Buffer Farmers project