A participatory modelling process (DEMO) has been developed and applied in a 350 km2 catchment in southern Sweden. The overall goal is to improve the dialogues between experts and local stakeholders by using numerical models as a platform for discussions. The study is focused on reducing nutrient load and on the development of a locally established measure plan, which is requested by the European Water Framework Directive. The HBV-NP model was chosen as it can calculate effects and costs for different allocations of several combined measures in a catchment. This paper shows the impact of including local data in the modelling process vs. using more general data. It was found that modelled diffuse nutrient pollution was highly modified when including local know-how, soft information and more detailed field investigations. Leaching from arable land was found to be 35% higher using more detailed information on for instance, agricultural practices, crop and soil distribution. Moreover, the stakeholders' acceptance of model results and reliance on experts was increased by applying the participatory process and involving stakeholders in the modelling procedure.

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