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Open AccessArticle

Modelling Impacts of a Municipal Spatial Plan of Land-Use Changes on Surface Water Quality—Example from Goriška Brda in Slovenia

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Agricultural Department, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Hacquetova ulica 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010189
Received: 18 November 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diffuse Water Pollution )
Intensive agriculture causes nutrient leaching and accelerates erosion processes, which threatens the good quality status of surface waters, as proposed by the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive. The purpose of this study was to define the impact of two alternative agricultural land-use change scenarios defined in a Municipal Spatial Plan on surface water quality by using the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. As experimental area, we chose a small Kožbanjšček stream catchment (1464 ha) situated in the Goriška Brda region in Slovenia. The area, due to favorable conditions for vineyards, is facing increasing deforestation. The change of 66.3 ha of forests to vineyards would increase the sediment, nitrate, and phosphorus loads in the stream by 24.8%, 17.1%, and 10.7%, respectively. With the implementation of vegetative buffer strips as a mitigation measure of the current situation, we could reduce the sediment, nitrate, and phosphorus loads by 17.9%, 11.1%, and 3.1%, respectively, while a combination of the two land-use change scenarios would result in a slight increase of the above-mentioned loads, corresponding to 0.61%, 2.1%, and 6.6%, respectively, compared to the baseline situation. The results confirm that, as we can increase pollution levels with deforestation, we can also reduce water pollution by choosing proper types of land management measures.
Keywords: APEX; land-use change; forest; vineyard; mitigation measure; vegetative buffer strips; municipal spatial plan; Goriška Brda APEX; land-use change; forest; vineyard; mitigation measure; vegetative buffer strips; municipal spatial plan; Goriška Brda
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Glavan, M.; Bele, S.; Curk, M.; Pintar, M. Modelling Impacts of a Municipal Spatial Plan of Land-Use Changes on Surface Water Quality—Example from Goriška Brda in Slovenia. Water 2020, 12, 189.

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