In addition to their direct impact on water quality, water protection measures also have indirect effects. Adaptations in the application of plant protection products and fertilisers influence yields in domestic production, and consequently the environmental impacts of this production. Changes in domestic production in turn influence the required import volumes, and consequently the environmental impacts in connection with the production of imported products.
Agroscope has determined that a reduction in environmental impacts within Switzerland is frequently achieved at the price of shifting the environmental impacts to other countries. Furthermore, site-specific factors play an important role in connection with water protection, which is why both a global and a regional, small-scale perspective are essential for reducing the environmental impacts of the Swiss agricultural sector. Measures for reducing water pollution must be accompanied by further changes, such as an increase in domestic eco-efficiency or a change in dietary habits.