Action Lab: Bollaertbeek, Belgium

About the catchment Area

The Belgium action lab is situated in the western part of Flanders in the municipality of Heuvelland and the city of Ypres. The action lab is working in the catchment of the Bollaertbeek. The catchment has a surface of 40 km². The area has a mixture of urban and rural land-use and there are about 400 farmers using land in this catchment.



Local challenges and water contaminants

Plant protection product concentrations are the main problem for the water quality in the catchement. Due to the establishment of water quality groups (CVBB) which focuses on nitrate concentration in surface water the nitrate concentrations in surface water are under control.

The surface water of the Bollaertbeek is the capturing area of the drinking water production company De watergroep. The water of the Bollaertbeek is stocked in De verdronken weide from where the surface water is purified to drinking water.

WaterProtect: Bollaertbeek timeseries of monitoring data ans prepicitation data

Agricultural activities in the Actionlab

There’s a mix of farms having livestock, arable crops and outdoor cropping (vegetables for fresh market and food industry).

Mitigation measures and best management practices

The BMP’s that will be promoted will focus on the reduction of PPP’s in surface water. The BMP’s which will be promoted aren’t selected yet. The selection of the BMP’s will be based on:

  • The suitability of the BMP’s to prevent point sources and diffuse sources of pesticides based on previous work in other projects (Inagro) such as drift reducing nozzles, bufferstrips, management of remnant water, …
  • Cost effectiveness data for the environment available from the Flemish Environmental Costing Model for Water (VITO) for the basic and additional measures in the programma of measures related tot the WFD (nitrates)
  • Monitoring results

Examples of BMP’s which will be suggested to introduce in the catchement of the Bollaerbeek:

Information of previous projects will be used

At farm level

Filling and cleaning place for sprayer
Bio remediation system for excess of sprayer liquid

At field level

Use of drift reduction nozzles
Promotion of machnies to make inter-row bunds


Local Partners and Stakeholders

Project leader
Research institution

Support for the

  • Introduction of the participatory monitoring
  • Water gouvernance strategy

Introduction of the collaborative management tool at the level of the Bollaertbeek
Dissemination and communication actions in the catchement of the Bollaertbeek

Action lab leader Responisble for the contacts with the farmers and
  • the introduction of Best management practices at farm level
  • the introduction out a partipatory monitoring.
  • dissemination and communication actions in the catchment of the Bollaertbeek.
Research institution Research partner working on the development of water gouvernance strategy with the Bollaertbeek as case study.
Flemish authority responsible for monitoring water quality and the programme of measures in the River Bassins of the Water Framsework Directive Support in the collection of water quality data
Drinking water company

Support in the collection of water quality data


Links to the local actionlab site and pages


WaterProtect Core Partners


WaterProtect Core Partner: VITO WaterProtect Core Partner: ILVO WaterProtect Core Partner: EWP WaterProtect Core Partner: CSIC WaterProtect Core Partner: ECOLOGIC


WaterProtect Core Partner: Geus WaterProtect Core Partner:  Inagro WaterProtect Core Partner: PIG WaterProtect Core Partner: Teagasc WaterProtect Core Patner: Università Cattolica