The Norwegian Agricultural Environmental Monitoring Programme (JOVA)

The Norwegian Agricultural Environmental Monitoring Programme (JOVA) is a national programme for soil and water monitoring in agriculture dominated catchments in Norway. The catchments represent the most important agricultural areas in the country with regard to climate, soil and management practices.

JOVA was initiated in 1992 with the aim to document the effects of agricultural practices and measures on runoff and water quality. In total 13 catchments are monitored. In most of them there is a continuous record of water-flow and sampling for analysis of nutrients, particles and pesticides.

During the monitoring period, JOVA has established a database with long time-series of data for nutrient runoff, soil erosion, pesticide loss and agricultural management practices.

The purpose of JOVA

The aim of JOVA is to document the environmental effects of agricultural management practices through the sampling and processing of data from the monitored catchments and other relevant data sources.

The catchment areas being monitored represent various agricultural areas in Norway, with particular focus on regions with intensively cropped areas and areas with high density of livestock where there is a high risk of pollution of recipients by runoff from agriculture and other sources. JOVA-results ensure a good knowledge base for national and regional water management, as well as for the agricultural advisory services.

Use of JOVA results 

The results from JOVA are used by the government in their national and international reporting, and in their follow-up of the agricultural policy and general agreement with the farmers.

The national bureau of statistics (Statistics Norway, SSB) use these results to report annually on the national environmental status including the effects of agriculture on the water quality. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) use the results in their work with the approval of pesticides. The results are also important for the monitoring in connection with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in watersheds affected by agriculture.

The programme publishes annual field reports with monitoring results form each individual catchments, and reports with compiled results and data analysis every other year. Reports (Norwegian only) are available from JOVA publications.