OPTAIN in a nutshell
An increasing number of extreme events such as droughts and heavy rainfall exacerbate conflicts between agricultural water uses and other human and environmental demands for water. Natural/Small Water Retention Measures (NSWRMs) can help to mitigate those conflicts, addressing societal challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and food security at the same time. Despite the comprehensive set of water/nutrient retention measures available, knowledge is still lacking on the effectiveness of those measures across various European soil-climatic regions, agricultural systems, scales and especially under changing climate. Thus OPTAIN aims to:
(i) identify efficient techniques for the retention and reuse of water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments across Continental, Pannonian and Boreal biogeographical regions of Europe in close cooperation with local actors
(ii) select NSWRMs at farm and catchment level and optimize their spatial allocation and combination, based on environmental and economic sustainability indicators.
OPTAIN will thus contribute to the achievement of different Sustainable Development Goals and environmental targets formulated in several water- and agriculture-related European Union policies.