Water4ever

Optimizing water use in agriculture to preserve soil and water resources

Project Interactive Website

 

Coordinator 

IST, All partners involved


 Executive Coordinator 

Projects  Partner and Institution:

IST
Deimos (PT)
INESCTEC (PT)
IsardSAT (SP)
UPCT (SP)
IMAMOTER (I)
AIBU (TR)

Implementation:

WP 1 Management - Coordinator IST, All partners involved
WP 2 In situ measurement technologies - Coordinator - INESC TEC, UPC
WP 3 Remote Sensing - Coordinator – Deimos; Other participants: isardSAT
WP 4 Moddeling - Coordinator: AIB University , all other partners;
WP 5 Case Studies - Coordinator – IMAMOTER ; all partners involve
WP 6 Dissemination - UPCT, all partners involved

Outcome/deliverables

To combine EO, in situ measuring, hydrological models and crop models to develop operational tools to:

  1. Support Regulated Deficit Irrigation;
  2. Assess the benefits for hydrological resources at the catchment scale

Expected Impact of the Project:
Increase RDI knowledge, Irrigation water saving still improving crop productivity and quality, Quantitative link between, plot and catchment scale, Technological development on sensors, image processing and modelling, Bridging between disciplines and players (Universities, Institutes, Companies)

AgWIT - Agricultural Water Innovations in the Tropics

Project Interactive Website

 

Coordinator 

LuMark S. Johnson - University of British Columbia (UBC)


 Executive Coordinator 

Projects  Partner and Institution:

Susan Trumbore Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry BMEL Germany
Paulo Brando Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia IDRC Brazil
Andrea Suárez Serrano Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica - HIDROCEC - IDRC Costa Rica

Monica García Technical University of Denmark (DTU) IFD Denmark
Steve Lyon Stockholm University - FORMAS Sweden
Chih Hsin Cheng National Taiwan University MOST - Taiwan

Key words


Abstract:

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Identify improvements in resource use efficiencies and environmental performance of key crops produced via alternative water and soil management strategies under rainfed and irrigated conditions;
  2. Determine crop physiological responses of biochar additions to soil using non -destructive optical and thermal sensing at multiple cales throughout > 20 agricultural crop development cycles;
  3. Develop/apply crop ecophysiological, hydrological, and biogeochemical models to evaluate innovative soil and water management strategies in relation to the plant - soil -atmosphere system;
  4. Evaluate and set priorities among strategies to increase water resilience through structured decision making workshops with local communities, producer groups and water management agencies.

Project structure

WP1. Crop responses, water and carbon footprints in relation to biochar additions and water management strategies Annual volumetric water footprints (blue and green) fo r soy, corn, rice, melon, and sugarcane;
WP2. Hydrology, isotopic measurements and modelling at nested scales;
WP3. Structured Decision Making Workshops and Knowledge Transfer;


Implementation:

Outcome/deliverables

Expected Impact of the Project, Develop and assess strategies to improve agricultural resilience while reducing the water, carbon and other footprints of agricultural practices and improving freshwater security and environmental conditions AgWIT will develop practicable strategies with end users and stakeholders for integrating novel approaches to soil and water management of agricultural systems.

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP


Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities:


Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities: 


Picture of the research team: 

IMPASSE – Impacts of MicroPlastics on AgrosystemS and Stream Environments

Project Interactive Website

 Foto Luca Nizzetto

Coordinator 

Luca Nizzetto


 Executive Coordinator 

Projects  Partner and Institution:

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) (Norway)
Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) (Sweden)
Trent University (Canada)
Winsor University (Canada)
Vrije University Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
IMDEA Water (Spain)

Key words

Microplastics, Ecotoxicology, Fate and distribution model, Agriculture, water management

Abstract:

While it is widely known that microplastics (MPs) in the ocean are a serious environmental problem, the threat posed by MPs in agricultural lands is almost entirely unknown. A large fraction of MPs produced in industrialized countries is intercepted by sewers. In treatment plants most of MPs are retained in the sludge. A sizeable fraction of this sewage sludge is spread in many countries on agricultural lands. We estimate the MP input to agricultural lands in Europe to be between 50000 and 175000 tonnes/year. This is especially alarming given that plastic polymers can contain toxic compounds and endocrine disrupting substances. Effectively, sewage sludge application may be causing persistent, pernicious and almost totally ignored contamination of agricultural land. In IMPASSE, we propose to develop and communicate new understanding of MP behavior in agrosystems which is urgently needed to avoid the potential of serious and long lasting environmental contamination. The highly interdisciplinary project includes risk communication, stakeholder engagement, ecotoxicology, catchment modelling, decision support tools, monitoring and experimental work needed to understand and then minimize threats associated with MPs in agrosystems.

IMPASSE will contribute substantially to an avoidance of current and future pollution in soils and waters in agricultural landscapes and develop guidance on how drainage management may influence MP mobility.

Project structure

WPO Project management

Implementation

The research work plan is framed around 2 Pillars: Pillar 1 (including WP1-3) is devoted to analysis of exposure and impacts of MPs in agrosystems. In Pillar 2, instead, this information is used to assess environmental and economic impacts of possible management actions interactively elaborated/discussed with the stakeholder group (including farming organizations, water utilities, catchment authorities and governance). The development of Decision support tools (WP3) is a central aspect of IMPASSE. In particular we will complete the development of the first mathematical model of MP transport conceived to serve as a powerful upscaling tool. We will develop a tool that will enable addressing pertinent questions for stakeholders, regulators, farmers and the general public such as: Will the burden of MPs increase in the future, under current agricultural practices? Does/will this burden exceed safety thresholds for organisms and agricultural sustainability? What would be the farmed soil recovery time if the addition of MPs is ceased? How efficiently are MPs which runoff from fields, retained in stream sediments? What are the implications for the freshwater ecosystem? Will mitigation/remediation actions result in co-occurring adverse impacts on farmed soils and water quality (e.g. increased nutrient/organic matter run-off)? What will it cost to address these problems? Scientifically rigorous guidance for answering these questions will be generated starting from INCA-Microplastics (INCA-MP), the unique model prototype (the first of this kind) developed by our group. INCA-MP is an integrated hydro-biogeochemical contaminant fate model. After calibration and validation using experiments and observations conducted in artificial streams and field scale (WP1 and WP3), the model will be used to describe 3 experimental case studies in Sweden, Spain and Canada, and provide information on implications of the various management scenario.


In order to obtain the necessary information to calibrate and assess the model we conceived the activities in WP1 (exposure). These include the first analysis of MP inputs, accumulation and releases from farmed fields treated with wastewater and sludge.
WP2 (Impacts) is dedicated to the assessment of the uptake and toxic responses of organisms to MP exposure. This WP is conceived to fill the current knowledge gap on the effects of MPs on soil and freshwater organisms. Experiments will be conducted at different levels of complexity (from single species to communities) addressing combined toxic outcomes related to addition of MPs and selected chemicals that can be constituent of the original plastic or adsorbed via secondary exposure in the environment. A key component of our research will be the analysis of transfers of hazardous substances contained in plastic polymers (e.g. plasticizers, flame retardants and their metabolites) from MPs in soil to food products. To this end we will analyze concentrations of a selected set of substances in crops (e.g. vegetables) and cow milk, and compare results with control groups. This activity bridges environmental and human health fields.


The knowledge and tools developed in Pillar 1 (WP1-3) will be used in Pillar 2 for conveying information to the stakeholder group. The group will include representative of farmers, water utilities and governance from each of the selected 3 case studies. The case studies will be selected to represent farming catchments in which sewage and/or waste water are used as fertilizer or for irrigation. Through a tailored communication we will involve stakeholders in elaborating suggestions for possible mitigation measures. The implication of the suggested management scenarios will be analyzed under an environmental lens (using INCA-MPs) and with the new information on effects (WP2)) and an economic lens (through an original analysis of cost-benefits, co-benefits and trade-offs). WP4 and WP5 are linked by a loop representing the interactive mechanisms underpinning stakeholders’ involvement in our project. This mechanism, fully meeting the joint call requirements, is of great importance and great added value.

Outcome/deliverables

D1.1. Complete dataset of MP fluxes and loading for the 3 case studies (electronic spreadsheet);
D1.2. Complete dataset of MP mass budgets in artificial stream experiments (electronic spreadsheet);
D1.3. Report on exposure analysis results for stakeholders (Report);
D1.4. Two scientific publications on fluxes and budgets of MPs in agrosystems.
D2.1. Report on single species effects;
D2.2. Scientific article on the results of task T2.3;
D2.3. Report on higher tier effects to be delivered to stakeholders;
D2.4. Report on bioaccumulation and biomagnification to be delivered to stakeholders
D3.1 Calibrated INCA-MP model applications with uncertainty assessments simulating MP fate and transport in three case study catchments;
D3.2 Establishment of the knowledge base required to understand present day MP pollutant dynamics and possible future consequences of changes in climate, land management and MP loading (Scientific paper submitted)
D4.1 Eight National Stakeholder Meeting reports;
D4.2 A media report specifically targeted to address (likely) shortcomings in awareness of MP issues in the environment;
D4.3 Four management scenario workshops reports;
D4.4 International seminar report presenting results of management scenario description.
D5.1 Identification of the most environmentally efficient strategies of MP management which minimize transport to receiving waters (Scientific paper );
D5.2 Identification and promulgation of the costs and economic effectiveness of MP management strategies which limit in-situ and downstream runoff of MPs (Report);
D5.3 A synthesis report designed for stakeholders documenting the resilient MP management strategies and their implications.


Deliverables:

D1.1: Data sources and indicators finalized (month 12).

D1.2: Finalized architecture deployment (month 24).

D2.1: Generalized data mining techniques and anomaly algorithm & indicator (month 12)

D2.2: Maps indicating hotspots, vulnerability and identified “hot time periods” (month 14)

D2.3: Generalized data-driven modelling techniques (month 20)

D4.1: Derived climate change scenarios for drivers/predictors at relevant scales (month 18).

D4.2: Deployed Big Data framework (month 20).

D4.3: Simulated defined seasonal and long term scenarios and analysed the impacts (month 22).

D4.4: Derived key indicators (month 24).
D5.1: Set-up website (month 1).
D5.2: Extracted list of most urgent needs and collected data from stakeholders (month 6).

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP:

WP0 (Coordination): Luca Nizzetto, NIVA
WP1: Luca Nizzetto NIVA
WP2: Marco Vighi IMDEA Water
WP3: Martyn Futter, SLU
WP4: SIndre Langaas, NIVA
WP5: Jill Crossman, Windsor University


Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (NIVA)


 Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities: 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (NIVA)


 Picture of the research team: 

Eutrophication hotspots resulting from biogeochemical transformations and bioavailability of organic phosphorus in the fluvial suspended sediment of geologically contrasting agricultural catchments
[Eutro-SED]

 

Project Interactive Website

Laurence Gill 

Coordinator 
Prof. Laurence Gill (Trinity College Dublin)


Executive Coordinator 

Projects  Partner and Institution:

Dr. Yongfeng Hu (Canadian Light Soure & University of Saskatchewan)

Prof. Kevin Bishop (Swedish University of Agriculture)

Key words

Fluvial sediments, eutrophication, phosphorus, Catchment science, nutrient biogeochemisty

Abstract:

This project endeavours to address the current lack of understanding of which P fractions on fluvial and stream bed sediments are more bioavailable and degrade water quality, specifically relating to the effect of organic P and humic-metal P complex pools from fluvial sediments. Concurrently, a predictive understanding of biogeochemical transformations and fluxes of fluvial and streambed sediment bound P will be developed and feed into current predictive biogeochemical hydro-sedimentary models for catchment water quality. This lack of data currently represents a major obstacle to the design and implementation of integrated water resource management of agricultural river catchments. The proposal directly relates to challenge two and sub-topic 2.b of the ERA-NET Cofund WaterWorks2015 call anouncement by addressing the impact of fluvial and stream bed sediments in agricultural catchment streams on surface water quality as up to 90% of P from agricultural catchments may be in the form of particulate phosphorus on suspended sediments. In addition the proposal directly relates to sub-topic 2.c in challenge two relating to developing predictive models to simulate potential P loss or the impacts of climate change, land-use and land management practices on fluvial sediment P export. Predictive models appeal to policy makers and water managers as these models can provide solutions to problems under various scenarios quickly. The results from the local-scale biogeochemical field work and laboratory-based experiments in sub-topic 2.b on fluvial sediment bound P (focusing on organic P and humic-metal P complexes) in agricultural catchment streams alone will fill major knowledge gaps, hence making this part of the proposed research worthwhile in its own right. In addition, the new process molecular level understanding will be scaled up by developing more realistic representations of biogeochemical transformations in agricultural catchments, which can be included in catchment-scale hydrological models.

Project structure

The proposed OrgP-Sed project will be divided into three main work packages discussed belwo, each building upon the success of the other. Contingency plans will be inbuilt into each work packages to provide a safety net in case of anything going off course. . The administrative management of Eutro-Sed will be coordinated by the lead partner at TCD, with backup from Prof. Kevin Bishop and Prof. Yongfeng Hu, consortium partners at SLU and Canada. The person-months allocated to each task is appropriate in order for completion of the goals and objectives. Field sampling and analysis will be carried initially while concurrently isotope and predictive model development will overlap. This is necessary for amalgamation of field data to feed predictive model development and the time allowed is the minimum in developing ground-breaking predictive models.

Implementation:

Work package 1. will focus on the biogeochemical processes and properties of fluvial sediment bound organic phosphorus. Specifically, the effects of redox oscillations on P exchanges and speciation will be examined in the field and in laboratory incubations.
Work package 2. will test the hypothesis that the strong biogeochemical gradients and fluctuations within suspended and streambed sediments of geologically contrasting agricultural catchment streams result in phosphorus bio-availability dynamics.
Work package 3. will address the regional scale impacts of biogeochemical transformations within suspended and streambed sediment bound phosphorus in geologically contrasting agricultural catchments.

Outcome/deliverables

Several academic papers will be generated from this project under the following subject areas and submitted to the following target high impact international journals (1) Hydrology & Biogeochemistry (2) Suspended sediment and advanced spectroscopy (3) Hydro-sedimentary biogeochemical modelling. A workshop will be organised to to discuss and raise awareness of the importance of suspended/stream bed sediment on surface water quality. The workshop will also stimulate brainstorming on the frontiers of this important area of research. Results from the project will be presented at international conferences such as Goldschmidt (Boston 2018), AGU (San Francisco, 2019), EGU (Vienna, 2019).

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP

Dr.David O'Connell,
Prof. Laurence Gill,
Dr. Yongfeng Hu,
Dr. Faruk Djodjic,
Prof. Kevin Bishop (WP-1)
Dr.David O'Connell,
Prof. Laurence Gill,
Dr. Yongfeng Hu,
Dr. Faruk Djodjic,
Prof. Kevin Bishop (WP-2)
Dr.David O'Connell,
Prof. Laurence Gill,
Dr. Yongfeng Hu,
Dr. Faruk Djodjic,
Prof. Kevin Bishop (WP-3)


Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities:

Dr. David O'Connell & Prof. Laurence Gill (Project manager and co-ordinator)


Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities:

Dr. David O'Connell & Professor Laurence Gill (Project manager and co-ordinator)


Photo of the Research Team:

 David OConnellFaruk DjodjicLaurence GillYonfeng HuKevin Bishop

Dr David O'connel          Dr. Faruk Djodjic       Prof. Laurence Gill     Dr. Yofen Hu                Prof. Kevin Bishop

CLEARANCE
CircuLar Economy Approach to River pollution by Agricultural Nutrients with use
of Carbon-storing Ecosystems

 

 

Project Interactive Website

 Wiktor Kotowski

Coordinator 
Wiktor Kotowski


Executive Coordinator 

Projects  Partner and Institution:

University of Warsaw (UW)
Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW)
Green Management Group (GMG)
University of Greifswald (UG)
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
University of Aarhus (AU)
University of Nijmegen (UN)

 

Key words

wetland buffer zones (WBZ), agricultural nutrients, paludiculture, ecosystem services

Abstract:

Riverine wetlands provide a range of ecosystem services: cultural (esthetics, recreation and education), provisioning (storage and retention of water), supporting (soil formation and nutrient cycling), regulating (regulation of erosion, natural hazards, hydrological flows, climate, water purification and waste treatment). The project CLEARANCE focuses on the role of wetland buffer zones (WBZ) in agricultural catchments that clean water from excess nutrients before it reaches the river, as well as substantially contribute to the natural purification of river water. The project aims to demonstrate this role of WBZs using model catchments, while at the same time examining synergies between water purification and other ecosystem services. The key concept of CLEARANCE is to enhance multifunctional use of riverine wetlands via circular economy, where nutrients captured in wetland biomass are re-used to produce energy (via combustion, biogas or pyrolysis), materials or soil substrates (compost), while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions via rewetting of drained organic soils and re-establishment of peat formation. Last but not least, riparian biodiversity and recreational functions of riverine wetlands are treated as co-benefits of the above-listed services, altogether allowing for a multi-faceted evaluation of WBZs and developing an integrated framework - socio-economic, environmental and political - for the implementation of WBZs in circular economy. CLEARANCE will deliver: (1) assessment of synergies and constraints between nutrient removal in WBZ and biomass utilization; (2) analysis of market and non-market values of rivers and river ecosystem services (as co-benefits of WBZ); (3) quantification and upscaling of costs and benefits of WBZ at the catchment scale; (4) policy and social network analysis concerning feasibility of using WBZ in circular economies as a solution to agricultural nutrients pollution; (5) market assessment of commodification options of WBZ-related ecosystem services, including nutrient removal and biomass production.

Project structure

CLEARANCE is structured into three phases: (A) background knowledge & methods justification, (B) modelling in case catchments, (C) outreach and dissemination.
In phase A data from the nationwide Danish monitoring program and Danish databases on land use, soil type, precipitation data, hydrological measurements and transport of nutrients in rivers will be used to set up empirical models, which can predict the loss of N from the upland to the stream. These models will be coupled with specially-adapted hydrological models, in order to produce a tool that allows to identify nutrient pathways and quantify their loads on different types of WBZ. Based on the established and regularly updated database for different paludiculture plants, we will develop a database for WBZ management options with yields, nutrient contents and biomass quality parameters for specific use options. Recycling possibilities in production systems in WBZ will be analyzed through available data from own and external sampling. Willingness to pay (WTP) for different attributes associated with different river valleys management options (restoring WBZ, restoring meanders, the scope of paludiculture etc.) will be assessed in PL, DE and DK. Discourse analysis from environmental ethics will be used to first provide a comprehensive account of “water valuation” and related intrinsic, instrumental and relational values in the case of wetland-buffer zone with paludiculture as a proposed socio-ecological innovation and putative contribution to healthy rivers. The analysis will also identify and value conflicts, including these caused by the monetization and commodification of ecosystem services.
In phase B, knowledge gathered and tools developed in phase A will be implemented in model catchments in Danmark, Germany and Poland. For each catchment, GIS-based models including climate, hydrology, land cover, river valley vegetation, hydrological data will be elaborated and N & P sources and pathways will be identified. Ecosystem services values in case catchments will be quantified for different kinds of WBZ development. Summing all the results up, we will quantify costs and benefits of WBZ for all case catchments, under different scenarios and in respect of market and non-market values.
Within phase C scientific publications and practical guidelines and recommendations will be prepared.

Implementation:

CLEARANCE consists of seven thematic workpackages (WP).
WP1 - Upland sources recharging WBZ is aimed to build a tool and framework for identification of spatially explicit nutrient input hotspots toward existing and projected WBZ.
WP2 - Wetlands as buffers is aimed to establish methods of quantifying nutrient capture in WBZ and apply them to case catchments. The calculated nitrogen and phosphorus load on the riparian areas will be used to estimate how maintenance, creation or restoration of the riparian WBZ impacts stream transport of nutrients.
WP3 - Closing the loop: biomass use, nutrient removal & commodification of nutrient recycling is aimed to analyze options of combining nutrient removal including nutrient recycling (ashes, substrates) potential and biomass utilization. WP3 compiles land management options that combine nutrient removal including nutrient recycling potential and biomass utilization.
WP4 - Water cycles and hydrological boundary conditions is aimed to localize and delimit WBZ, quantify available water in case catchments; assess hydrological co-benefits. WP4 is oriented at quantification of hydrological processes allowing WBZ to act as nutrient sources and sinks in the catchment scale.
WP5 - Co-benefits: evaluation of ecosystem services is aimed to estimate cultural services and pure non-use values related to different WBZ scenarios . In the context of cultural services our work will focus on estimating recreational, aesthetics values related to WBZ. Since WBZ are also likely to have a very large impact on biodiversity conservation we will also assess existence value related to biodiversity.
WP6 - Policy and civil society: barriers and opportunities is aimed to identify policy and social constrains and opportunities of implementing WBZ. Extended social grid analysis focused on societal dynamics around innovations for the common good, e.g. here the proposed creation of wetland buffer zones with paludiculture. Regional workshops will communicate preliminary results and serve as a critical feedback from regional stakeholders for final recommendations.
WP7 - Integration & upscaling is aimed to integrate information on different ecosystem services and benefits from WBZ and synthesize in form of costs and benefits analysis on the catchment scale.

Outcome/deliverables

CLEARANCE aims to deliver diversified outputs addressed to four different target groups:

  • Scientific community - papers submitted to open-access international journals (possible replacement of individual submissions with a collaborative scientific book) and a scientific session on multifunctional WBZ offered at an international conference, along with conference papers at other scientific symposia,
  •  Stakeholders connected to WBZ (water authorities, experts, farmers, anglers, etc.) - three national stakeholder workshops, practical guidelines on multifunctional WBZ in circular economy, brochure and video materials with examples of WBZ at work,
  • Decision makers at EU level - recommendation document on for innovation in Common Agricultural Policy and Water Framework Directive employing WBZ concept as parts of circular economies in agricultural catchments.

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP

WP1 – Dominik Zak (IGB)
WP2 – Carlos C. Hoffmann (AU)
WP3 – Wendelin Wichtmann (UG)
WP4 – Mateusz Grygoruk (SGGW)
WP5 – Marek Giergiczny (UW)
WP6 – Rafael Ziegler (UG)
WP7 – Wiktor Kotowski (UW)


Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities:

Marta Wisniewska


Photo of the Research Team:

 

Water JPI key achievements 2011-2016

This publication presents the ten main goals achieved by the initiative till now.

Read more

Open Data & Open Access
Water JPI Interface

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The WATER JPI is a relevant structure for Horizon 2020

Both the Water JPI and Horizon 2020 use public funds to achieve their goals, and enjoy a significant area of synergy in their respective research priorities. The JPI provides a channel for dialogue with the EC on future Horizon 2020 calls. Since its launch, the EC has been very supportive of the Water JPI and a non-voting member of its Governing Board.
Task Force on Interactions with Horizon 2020

 
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