Project page at Interrege Greece-Italy web site: https://greece-italy.eu/rlb-funded-projects/ir2ma/
IR2MA - Large Scale Irrigation Management Tools for Sustainable Water Management in Rural Areas and Protection of Receiving Aquatic Ecosystems
UNIVERSITY OF IOANNINA - Research Committee (UoI) http://www.rc.uoi.gr/ (Lead partner)
REGION of EPIRUS (ROE) http://www.php.gov.gr/
ISTITUTO SCIENZE DELLE PRODUZIONI ALIMENTARI (ISPA/CNR) http://www.ispacnr.it/
CIHEAM - ISTITUTO AGRONOMICO MEDITERRANEO – BARI (IAMB) http://www.iamb.it/
CONSORZIO PER LA BONIFICA DELLA CAPITANATA (CBC) http://consorzio.fg.it/
REGION OF PUGLIA (ROP) http://www.regione.puglia.it/
IR2MA “Large Scale Irrigation Management Tools for Sustainable Water Management in Rural Areas and Protection of Receiving Aquatic Ecosystems” is one of the 41 projects that were approved in the framework of the 1st call for ordinary project proposals of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V/A Greece-Italy 2014-2020, http://greece-italy.eu/. The project started on April 1st 2018 and is expected to last 24 months.
IR2MA aims to support a network of expertise exchange for demand-driven capitalization of scientific knowledge and good practices regarding irrigation-drainage and their effects on the receiving aquatic ecosystems. It will be carried out by regional authorities, universities, research institutes and water management organizations.
Both Greece and Italy try to put in practice rules that originate from the directive 2000/60/EC in order to protect water in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The major water user in the programme area is agriculture. Efficient management in large participatory irrigation-drainage systems as well as at end-user level is expected to lead to improved water usage and control of drainage. The latest transfer contaminants generated from fertilizers, plant protection materials etc. to underground aquifers and surface aquatic receivers. Many of these receivers include sensitive ecosystems that are top ranked in environmental agreements (Ramsar, NATURA2000 etc).
Central participatory systems in Epirus are characterized by low technological level of infrastructure and poor management. The sharing of expertise in developmanet and usage of decision support systems (DSS) for water management at end-user level will promote cooperation between managing authorities to confront common problems. The central participatory system of Capitanata (CBC, Foggia) is considered to be the most advanced in the programme area. It applies state of the art infrastructure and management systems and it also applies for years a water management DSS for end-users. IAMB holds extended expertise regarding management of irrigation-drainage systems in all levels and will bring extended know-how to the project as it is part of CIHEAM, an organization with branches all around the Mediterranean Sea. Their cooperation with Greek partners (UoI and Region of Epirus) will provide valuable feedback and applicable recommendations for the improvement of participatory systems in Epirus. In this framework, activities regarding measurement of water quantity and quality, flood alarms, DSS usage etc. will be applied.
IAMB, ISPA/CNR and UoI will also perform applied research activities which will be mainly focused on the use of recycled water (from various sources) for irrigation of crops. This is a practice of great interest which is expected to become mainstream in the near future in order to save good quality fresh water for other uses and to reduce contaminant loads from being directly discharged to aquatic receivers. Finally the project will include communication activities (help desk, seminars, demonstration sites etc.) in order to stimulate public consciousness regarding water issues and professionals training regarding strategies and methods for efficient irrigation-drainage management and protection of receiving aquatic ecosystems.The participation of the Region of Puglia as associate partner will provide great assistance to that.