The EWP and a number of partners are setting up a project proposal involving an innovative technology to reduce water use in irrigation and testing this technology on farms in Cyprus and Spain. Because the effects of implementing a new technology on the water use needs to be tested for their effects on the whole river basin, the Water Stewardship Programme is involved in this proposal.
The Water Stewardship tool will be tested on the farms involved to provide a holistic framework to evaluate the effects of the implementation of the technology on the whole river basin. If granted, this project can start in October 2010.
Water scarcity and droughts are among the largest challenges for Southern and parts of Central and East Europe. Precipitation becomes ever scarcer, temperatures are rising, and the available water is used to such extent that available water in aquifers and basins is dropping further. In ever more areas, this lack of available water already leads to desertification.
Europe will need to address this challenge urgently, a fact which is acknowledged by the European Commission. In a recent call for proposals, the EC combined the need to address desertification with the potential of innovative technologies to use water more efficiently. Research has shown that only by implementing innovative technologies, overall water use could be reduced by as much as 45%.