002 - Agricultural Activities

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Environmental consequences of agricultural activities on water quality, to include pollution (eutrophication) and irrigation (salinisation).


Agricultural practices impact natural processes and therefore impact the quality of water in range of places. 


Key Terminology

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe and Discuss

This syllabus point is specifically asking you to look at the impact that farming has on the water quality of a river. So to do this we need to look at the different types of farming practices and the types of nutrients and waste that those practices cause. 

Useful Resources

Agricultural Pollution

Angling Trust

To Read

'Out Planet's Freshwater' by Codrington - Pages 54-57

FAO - Executive Summary  - check the contents page

Activity Two - Eutrophication

We are now going to look specifically at the first-named impact that agriculture has on water quality. You will need to know what it is, how it occurs along with the issues that it has created in a specific area. We are going to focus on Lake Erie, USA.

Useful Resources

Activity Three - Salinisation

Some of you may be or have been fortunate to see the impact that salinisation was having on farmland in the village of Tinfou in Morocco. This was the hard white stuff on the soil that was generally caused by flood irrigation in Tinfou. Now salinisation may not seem to be a particular problem but when it is scaled it has a dramatic impact on the environment. We are going to focus on the Murray-Darling basin in Australia as our detailed example.

Useful Resources

Exam Style Question

Explain two ways in which agriculture and/or irrigation on flood plains can affect water quality. [3 + 3 marks] May 2014

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com