Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of water, with about 70% of the diverted water being used in irrigation (UNESCO, 2015). Agriculture is also considered as a key source of diffuse pollution with inefficient practices resulting in high water and nutrient (particularly N and P) surpluses that are transferred to water bodies through diffuse processes (runoff and leaching), promoting eutrophication, with associated biodiversity loss.
Farmers deal with water at the plot and seasonal scale, adopting strategies that best suit their minds, hoping to maximise yields. Their perception of resulting environmental effects is not always accurate as they usually happen further downstream, creating a gap between causes and consequences, and difficulties to Water Agencies that have to manage and protect water resources while considering its availability, multiple uses, and quality.
Water4ver aims to increase irrigation water and fertilisation efficiencies through precision irrigation. Specifically, it wishes to minimise soil and nutrient losses to surface water and groundwater, and through it nitrogen and phosphorus loads from agriculture fields into rivers. A Decision Support System based on online data and on forecast models will be developed and tested in case studies located in Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
The main outputs of Water4ever are:
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.