Reducing pesticide losses into water – making a difference in the field TOPPS Water Protection, a new multi-stakeholder project dedicated to reducing pollution from agricultural sources, was launched today at an event in Brussels. The project is designed to spread the implementation of best practices on water protection, bringing advice and knowledge to farmers across Europe. The project will involve 14 EU member states* and will run from 2015 until the end of 2017. Earlier phases of the project started with the EU Life programme co-funded TOPPS project, and most recently TOPPS prowadis focused on the development of these best practices and on training advisers, who have been able to spread the knowledge to thousands of farmers on how to reduce water pollution from the runoff of pesticides from point sources (at the farm level) and diffuse sources (at the field level). In countries where these projects have already been implemented, TOPPS Water Protection will intensify the dissemination by going directly to the farmer. In other countries the project will first involve adapting the best practices to local conditions then sharing them with the farming community through trainings and workshops. “TOPPS is already a name synonymous with success in the field of water protection,” said Jean-Charles Bocquet, Director General of ECPA. “Now with the development of a full toolbox of best management practices, we are geared up to work with farmers directly through TOPPS Water Protection. They will receive a complete package on water protection with training courses. Implementing these simple measures makes a tremendous difference when applying or handling pesticides.” — *Member States: Core countries – Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Poland; Extension countries – Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.