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4th Scientific and Technical Partnership Forum organized in Rovigo (Italy) - May 2011)

The Province of Ferrara, Italian partner of EU.WATER, organized the fourth Scientific and Technical Forum in Rovigo on 19th and 20th May 2010. After the opening speech of the Councilor of Economic Activities, the team focused on the presentation of the final results of the vulnerability maps to nitrates in the pilot areas and discussed over the Transnational Strategy for Integrated Water Management in Agriculture.

The Strategy represents the red line that connects all key-activities of the project. EU.WATER started from the water sensitive areas detected in every region through the vulnerability maps and the codes of good agricultural practices collected by some technical questionnaires (that show how the problem of water scarcity and water pollution have been traditionally managed by farmers and technicians in every areas). Indeed, it looks evident that a common strategy must be supported by consolidated scientific basis to be accepted by the policymakers but at the same time a common strategy cannot propose radical changes addressed at the traditional agricultural settings, otherwise the local adaptation plan could not be put in practice by the local authorities and farmers.

The necessity of a consolidated scientific basis to validate the strategy needs a testing phase: this is developed through the pilot actions that are developed in the 4 EU areas (Italy, Greece, Hungary and Romania). The results of these pilot action will positively affect the common strategy, allowing trimming and useful indications to make the results effective and ready for large ownership.

These load of information are organized into the strategy and then scale down locally: this will facilitate the decision-making process of policy-makers through the application of regional plans for more efficient nitrogen distribution and irrigation saving (and in general to provide upgraded managing strategies for integrated water management in agriculture) that benefit of a wide scientific horizon.

The implementation, in the final part of the project of practical actions and grants mechanisms for introducing new technologies and new productive systems in agriculture (e.g. sustainable fertilizing practices) can ensure that small-scale interventions will connect rural communities with major investments and have a continuity after the project conclusion.

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