Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2024/2025 | Previous academic years:  2023/2024  |  2022/2023  |  2021/2022  |  2020/2021 
Bachelor's degree in Agricultural, Food and Rural Environment Engineering at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Optative Year: 4 Period: 2º S
Department: Ingeniería

Partes de este texto:


Module/Subject matter




Effects of agricultural activity on the environment

Simulation models



General proficiencies

CG2: Adequate knowledge of the physical problems, technologies, equipment, and water and energy supply systems, the limits imposed by budgetary factors and building regulations, the relationships between installations and/or buildings with farms, agro-food industries and spaces related to gardening and landscaping with their social and environmental surroundings, as well as the need to relate those surroundings from that environment with human needs and environmental protection.


Specific proficiencies

SC14: Ability to recognize, understand and utilize ecological principles. Ability to develop environmental impact studies: assessment and

SC28:Ability to recognize, understand, and utilize the principles of agricultural and landscape Engineering, environmental legislation and management, sustainable development principles, market and professional strategies, assessment of environmental assets, hydrology, erosion, plant material production, use, and maintenance, ecosystems and biodiversity, physical environment and climate change. Analysis, management, and land use planning. Landscaping principles. Specific design and graphic expression tools, practical development of environmental impact studies, environmental and landscaping restoration projects. Projects and maintenance plans for green spaces. Development projects. Tools for spatial and landscape planning. Projects and works management and planning.


Learning outcomes

R1. Finding out the main effects of agricultural and agrifood industry activities on the environment.

R2. Identifying the possible measures for making agricultural and agrifood industry activities sustainable.

R3. Acquiring knowledge of management tools and methodologies which permit the identification and prediction of the effect of changes in agricultural use and management on water and soils.



    Student working hours
A-1 Lectures with the support of videos and other instructional materials adapted to case studies and to on line teaching 20
A-2 Self-study of instructional materials adapted to case studies and to on line teaching. Self-assessment tests, and answers to guidance questions 20
A-3 Debates, discussions, participation in the forum 5
A-4 Coursework, writting report 20
A-5 Readings of selected instructional materials 8
A-6 Tests, examinations 2
A-8 Individual tutoring  
Total 75




Weight (%) It allows
test resit
required grade
R1, R2, R3 IE1: Written exam. To pass the course marks higher or equal than 5 are required. The exam will be conducted in a face to face manner 50% Yes, by written exam 5
R1, R2, R3 IE2: Participation in debates, discussions, forums. Discussion on selected case studies. 20% No  
R1, R2, R3 IE3. Short coursework, writing report about the problems and issues posed that analyze the results. 30% No  

If the student did not get the minimum grade to weigh in any of the activities, the grade of the subject would be 4.9 out of 10 at most (fail). 



Topic 1. Introduction. Characteristics of agricultural systems. Environmental impact of agricultural activity. A sustainable agriculture is possible. What will be covered in this course?


Topic 2. Wind erosion. Basics of the phenomenon. Case study: The ecological and social disaster of the Dust Bowl.


Topic 3. Soil erosion by water. Description of the phenomenon. Case study: Soil erosion by water in agricultural areas of Navarre.


Topic 4. Nonpoint source pollution. Definition revisited. Main NSP pollutants (nutrients, pesticides, salts, sediments, organic matter, metals, pathogens, emerging pollutants). Case study: NPS pollution in experimental watersheds of Navarre (nitrate and phosphate).


Topic 5. Point source pollution. Definition and relevant pollutants. Case studies: Olive mill wastes; Pig farms residues in Navarre and their use as fertilizers.


Topic 6. Desertification by physicochemical degradation of soils at large scale. Basics of the phenomenon. Case study: The human-induced ecological catastrophe of the Aral Sea.


Topic 7. Conversion of rainfed lands into irrigated ones. Expansion of irrigation. Case study: Lerma watershed (Zaragoza) transformation.


Topic 8. Computer tools for management, simulation models for predicting the effect of agricultural activities. Description. Case analysis: Effect of change in use on runoff and soil erosion in Navarre, analysis of scenarios.



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.


Awad, A., H. Salman, Y. T. Hung, 2006. Olive oil waste treatment. L. K. Wang, Y. T. Hung, H. H. Lo, C., Yapijakis, Eds. Waste treatment in the food processing industry. Taylor&Francis, Boca Raton. 

Brady, N. C., R. R. Weil, 2008. The nature and properties of the soils. Pearson Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Manahan, S., E., 1997. Environmental Science and Technology. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton.

Montgomery, D., R., 2007. Dirt: the erosion of civilizations. University of California Press. Berkley.

Lal, R. (Ed.), 2002. Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York

Morgan, R. P. C., 2005. Soil Erosion and Conservation. Blackwell Publishing, Malden.

Stewart, B. A., T. A. Howell, 2003. Encyclopedia of Water Science. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York



Casalí, J., R. Gastesi, J. Álvarez-Mozos, L. M. De Santisteban, J. Del Valle de Lersundi, R. Giménez , A. Larrañaga, M. Goñi, U. Agirre, M.A. Campo, J.J. López, M. Donézar, 2008. Runoff, erosion, and water quality of agricultural watersheds in central Navarre (Spain). Agricultural Water Management 95(10): 1111-1128

De Santisteban, L.M., J. Casalí, J. J. López, 2006. Assessing soil erosion rates in cultivated areas of Navarre (Spain). Earth Surface Processes & Land Forms 31(4): 487-506

Giménez, R., Casalí, J., Chahor, Y., 2012. Herramientas informáticas de gestión de terrenos agrarios: potencialidades del Modelo AnnAGNPS en Navarra. Cuadernos de Investigación Geográfica, 38(2), 107-121, 2012.

Kemp, D. D., 2004. Exploring environmental issues: an integrated approach. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. London.

Liu, S., X., 2007. Food and agricultural wastewater utilization and treatment. Blackwell Publishing, Ames.

Merchán, D., Causapé, J., Abrahão, R., 2013. Impact of irrigation implementation on hydrology and water quality in a small agricultural basin in Spain. Hydrological Sciences Journal. 58, pp. 1400 - 1413.