OPTAIN will focus on 14 case studies across Continental (7), Pannonia (3) and Boreal (4) biogeographical regions of Europe including one Pannonia-Continental cross-border case. All case studies represent small catchments (4.5-250 km²) dominated by agricultural land use, but cover a wide range of soil-climatic zones and agricultural systems. The distribution of case studies reflects well on the share of agricultural land within the different H2020 focus regions.
Within all 14 case studies specific local environmental issues will be addressed (including floods, droughts, soil erosion, nutrient leaching, crop yield losses), which aggravate conflicts between different local water users. OPTAIN will assess the site specific effects of a large set of NSWRM based on (1) operational experience and (historical) knowledge on the regional socio-environmental setting provided by MARG, (2) theory founded on reviewing existing literature and information systems (WOCAT, nwrm.eu) as well as (3) integrated modelling and multi-objective optimisation, while taking into account local projections of future climate. To ensure consistency and comparability amongst case studies, OPTAIN will aim for a comprehensive harmonisation and develop common protocols for all major approaches of the project.