OECD Environment Directorate, March 2017
OECD countries have struggled to adequately address diffuse water pollution. It is much easier to regulate large, point source industrial and municipal polluters than engage with a large number of farmers and other land-users where variable factors like climate, soil and politics come into play. But the cumulative effects of diffuse water pollution can be devastating for human well-being and ecosystem health. Ultimately, they can undermine sustainable economic growth. Many countries are trying innovative policy responses with some measure of success. However, these approaches need to be replicated, adapted and massively scaled-up if they are to have an effect.