The general objective of the project is the development of shared methodologies and the application of demonstrative and innovative interventions towards the integrated management of water resources in rural areas, to move toward sustainable development models framed by EU legislation. The main goals are to give concrete answers to the problem of water consumption and water contamination caused by intensive agriculture in selected rural communities across SEE space, where agriculture represents the major user of natural resources and supplier of environmental services.
The project implements a pragmatic process based on (1) the improvement of the traditional “top-down–bottom-up” planning approach and (2) adaptive learning practices to contribute to the transition of local agriculture towards innovation technology and environmental-friendly measures.
The project specific objectives are:
- capitalization and reorganization of the existing knowledge in the project areas with reference to the water-sensitive agricultural zones;
- definition of a joint Transnational (horizontal) strategy for the integrated management of water in agriculture, coherent to EU Water Framework and Nitrate Directives, to be subsequently applied (vertically) in each participating region through local adaptive plans;
- development of practical actions and grants mechanisms for introducing new technologies and new productive systems in agriculture (e.g. sustainable fertilizing practices, low water consumption technologies for irrigation, etc.), with a direct impact on a wide number of farmers;
- support to public bodies in territorial planning, land-use management in rural areas and promotion of low environmental-impact agriculture, supporting the implementation of EU regulations on integrated water management;
- encouragement of the active role of local stakeholders towards tackling the problems, implementing the solutions, and reaping the corresponding benefits