Nutrient losses from agricultural land constitute an important part of the total flow of nutrients to lakes and seas in Sweden and the Baltic region. With the Water Framework Directive, to be implemented shortly throughout Europe, emphasis is increasing on the role of stakeholder participation and decentralisation of various responsibilities from authorities to groups in the civil society. This paper investigates a Swedish case where local watercourse groups (WCGs) have formed in order to be involved more actively in the efforts to reduce nutrient losses from agricultural lands. This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the institutional landscape surrounding WCGs, goals, goal formulation and space of action.

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