INNOMED - Innovative Options for Integrated Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean

Project Website


Coordinator:Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC): Santiago Beguería

Projects  Partner and Institution:
The Cyprus Institute, CYI: Manfred Lange
Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement, CIRAD-UMR-CIRED: Patrice Dumas,
National Research Council, CNR-ISAFOM: Tommaso Caloiero,
Politecnico di Milano, POLIMI: Giovanni Ravazzani
Research Institute of Field Crops 'Selectia', RIFC: Marin Cebotari, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, NOVA.ID.FCT: Paulo Alexandre Diogo

Key words: WWTP, emerging contaminants, (bio)sensors, electrochemical and biological treatment processes, ecotoxicological assessment, sustainable water reuse and safety, LCA

Abstract: There is a need to achieve a better understanding of the interactions between land use and climate and their effect on water resources in order to improve long-term sustainable water use. This is specially relevant in areas such as the EU Mediterranean (EUM) region, which is a major climate change hotspot due to water scarcity, concentration of activities, and reliance on climate-sensitive resources. Irrigated agriculture is the largest (blue) water user in the EUM, accounting for more than 50% of total water withdrawal, largely doubling the EU average. Among non-extractive water uses, forests and rainfed agriculture have the largest (green) water footprint and play a fundamental role on the allocation of effective rainfall between green- and blue-water flows, determining the water availability for other uses.

On this context, INNOMED promotes a holistic approach to water resources management by: i) considering the full water cycle as manageable and the catchment scale as the most relevant management level; and ii) addressing the integrated management of land and water, with a special focus on irrigated agriculture and forests. Its main objective is to develop and apply a multidisciplinary approach to quantify the physical and economic effects of alternative management options in forestry and agriculture on the catchment's water balance, in order to ensure efficient water use systems and practices in both sectors and to promote sustainable water management solutions at the catchment level.
INNOMED addresses specific scientific challenges in: i) estimating the allocation of green- and blue-water flows of different land uses and their spatial and temporal variations, at the catchment scale; ii) determining the water footprint of different management options on forests and irrigated crops, including experimental trials, field monitoring and modelling, at the field scale; iii) integrating the physical and economic flows resulting from alternative management options. An enhanced interface between scientists and stakeholders (water and forest managers and farmers) in five pilot study sites will allow: i) mapping and devising current and innovative water-use efficient land management options; ii) gathering relevant biophysical and socio-economic data needed for analysis; and iii) focusing on relevant issues for the practical implementation of IWRM in the pilot study sites and beyond.
INNOMED will provide scientific research outcomes of high standards taking into account the current biophysical and socio-economic challenges in the EUM region, and provide resilient solutions aiming at reducing the pressure for water in the agriculture and forestry sectors, while strengthening international cooperation in water research.

Project structure: These objectives will be addressed through the following collaborative RDI activities:

  1. Catchment-wide water balance analysis – Eco-hydrological simulations will be carried out on five pilot study areas in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Moldova in order to: i) compute a spatially-explicit water balance for a range of (current and future) climatic conditions (challenge 1); ii) determine the blue- and green-water footprint of (current and alternative) land uses and managements (challenge 1); iii) quantify the effect of (current and alternative) land uses and managements in selected water quality parameters (challenge 1). Monitoring schemes and indicators – Field monitoring of key aspects of the land water cycle will be carried out in the pilot study areas, utilizing and improving current monitoring facilities including cutting-edge technologies such as eddy covariance, or sensor networks. The newly acquired data will allow improving parameterization of challenging modelling issues (challenge 2).
  2. Field-scale water conserving agriculture and forestry practices – Controlled deficit irrigation field trials on economically relevant model crops will be carried out in order to calibrate water productivity curves in the eco-hydrological models (challenge 3). Field monitoring of green and blue water use and productivity will also be conducted in selected, commercial farms. Isotopic tree-ring analysis will be used to determine water productivity curves of forests before and after thinning (challenge 3). These assessments will result on useful information regarding the feasibility of water conserving practices, but it will also improve model calibration (challenge 2).
  3. Economic modelling – Catchment-wide economic valuation of green- and blue-water resources will allow assessing the feasibility of proposed management options, and payment-for-ecosystem services schemes (PES) will be simulated to assess their suitability to promote such changes (challenges 4-5).
  4. Stakeholder involvement in the selected areas (challenge 6) will allow: i) identifying current and innovative land management options (with special attention to controlled deficit irrigation and forest thinning) and their framework conditions (legal, institutional, financial, etc.); ii) gathering biophysical and socio-economic data needed for analysis; iii) assessing how information from modelling is presented to end users; and iv) proposing new strategies for IWRM.

Implementation: INNOMED activities are organized within the following six work packages (WP):
WP1. Project management (administrative, quality, technical and scientific).
WP2. Stakeholder forum and communication. Promote a dialogue between scientists, water managers, and end-users in the forestry and agriculture sectors, contributing to achieve Challenge 6. In addition to the groups of stakeholders interested in INNOMED (see letters of commitment on section 5), other relevant private and public stakeholders will be invited from an early stage of the project.
WP3. Multidisciplinary knowledge-base assessment. Collect and make available current knowledge and data relevant to the case studies regarding the natural science, socio-economic data, institutional aspects, and policy and management options. This task will be undertaken early in the project timeline, although it will also take care of archiving and data sharing of new data generated during the entire project.
WP4. Bridging knowledge gaps. Deal with data gaps identified within WP2 and will generate new data needed by the project, including hydrological monitoring on forest and agricultural farms, experimental field trials, and forest thinning isotopic analysis, in close cooperation with stakeholders (farmers and forest managers). These data will be used for calibrating critical model parameters and processes in WP4.
WP5. Catchment-wide eco-hydrological and economic modelling. Develop a conceptual framework and numeric tools for quantifying, in physical and economic terms, the outcomes of different land management options in terms of improved green and blue water estimates.
WP6. Strategies for IWRM. Based on the outputs of WP5 and WP4, science-based IWRM strategies and policy recommendations will be developed for the five pilot study cases.

D1.1. Minutes from annual project meetings
D1.2. Annual Progress Reports
D2.1. Synthesis report of stakeholder forums held in each study site
D2.2. Project’s newsletters
D3.1. Report on project’s data needs, standards and dissemination policy
D3.2. Project’s database (synthesis report)
D4.1. Synthesis report on water use monitoring
D4.2. Synthesis report on irrigation field trials
D4.3. Synthesis report on forest water use
D5.1. Synthesis report on (calibrated and validated) eco-hydrological modelling
D5.2. Synthesis report on (calibrated and validated) socio-economic modelling
D6.1. Synthesis report on scenario modelling in all study sites
D6.2. Synthesis report on strategies for IWRM

References coordinator and  leaders of  each WP:
WP1: Santiago Beguería;

Contact Point for  Communication/Dissemination activities: CYI

Contact Point for Open Data/Open Access activities: NOVA.ID.FCT

Results of the project: Data and resources


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published on 2017/03/28 08:00:00 GMT+1 last modified 2019-07-31T13:56:18+01:00