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MAGO: new solutions for integrated water resources management in agriculture

• This collaborative project will develop innovative solutions to improve integrated water resources management for sustainable agriculture in the Mediterranean region

• These solutions, to be tested in Tunisia, Spain, France, and Lebanon, will promote water use efficiency in agriculture, the use of alternative water resources and adaptation to climate change

In the Mediterranean region, water management and food security are facing reduced water availability due to climate change. This situation affects agricultural production and is aggravated by population growth, which increases the demand for water and food. One of the main difficulties in addressing this challenge is the disconnection between research results in this field with real market needs and end-user demand.

MAGO is the new PRIMA-funded project that aims to develop water management solutions in the Mediterranean for sustainable agriculture, based on an online collaborative platform. The overall objective of this initiative is to establish this connection between research results and real market needs and end-user demands in the field of food security and water management in the Mediterranean region, with a special focus on the challenge of climate change. MAGO will develop WEMED, a collaborative platform with web applications for agriculture in the Mediterranean.

Over 3 years, MAGO will implement innovative participatory processes for better water governance and innovation, improve monitoring and modelling for better water use efficiency and soil conservation, and improve the planning and operation of wastewater reuse systems in agriculture. The ambition of the project is to contribute with new solutions for adaptation to global change, starting from the 4 countries where it will be tested: Tunisia, Spain, France and Lebanon.

The project, coordinated by Cetaqua, has a consortium formed by 10 partners: Aigües de Barcelona, CSIC and Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) from Spain, INRAE and LISODE from France, University of Thessaly (UTH) from Greece, INRGREF and Ezzayra Solutions (EZZAYRA) from Tunisia, American University of Beirut (AUB) from Lebanon, and Meta Anatolia from Turkey.

Specifically, Aigües de Barcelona will contribute to the implementation of risk management strategies in the Barcelona Living Lab. In this same experimental environment, the CSIC team, led by Miren López de Alda, research scientist at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA) in Barcelona, is responsible for the evaluation of emerging contaminants and the analysis of risks associated with the reuse of wastewater in agriculture. The participation of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area is part of the development of this living lab to promote the use of reclaimed water from the Gavà-Viladecans WWTP in an area that must combine the development of agricultural activity with the preservation of a natural area of great environmental interest. To this purpose, it has the collaboration of the Consorci del Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat, in collaboration with the agricultural sector and other stakeholders, to develop solutions to improve the management of reclaimed water and governance.

Cetaqua, in its mission to increase the sustainability and resilience of Mediterranean water systems, will be in charge of leading the project activity. Its itexperience in the development of smart solutions, based on the use of open data and satellite images to improve water efficiency, will allow it to coordinate the development of web applications and APIs.

MAGO will receive €2.5 million in funding from the PRIMA initiative under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.