Project: Strategies for increasing the water use efficiency of semi-arid Mediterranean agrosilvopastoral systems under climate change

Acronym FLUXMED (Reference Number: WaterJPI-JC-2018_05)
Project Topic The overarching goal of this research project is to develop and apply innovative methodologies to increase the social-ecological water use efficiency of managed ecosystems along the Mediterranean biome and climate types. We will focus on a diverse set of seasonally dry ecosystems, spanning a large gradient of mean annual rainfall (from 35 to 780 mm/y) across the Mediterranean biome. Case studies will examine the Mediterranean Sea basin from west to east providing the exceptional opportunity to develop, identify and compare water resources management and planning strategies for contrasting climate conditions in the Mediterranean region. We will define innovative strategies for the water sustainability in the Mediterranean region under current and future climate change scenarios, optimizing water infrastructure (e.g., reservoirs, wells network design) and water uses (irrigation, animal production systems, drinking and industrial activities). Strategies will be defined with stakeholders and government authorities, which will be actively involved in the project. To improve predictive technical tools for water resources assessment, we propose to develop innovative methodologies and techniques to better estimate evapotranspiration, the main parameter of the water budget in semi-arid and arid climates. To do so we propose 1) to combine the use of eddy covariance and tree sapflow observations, 2) advanced technical tools (remote sensing observations) will be developed to monitor the main state variables explaining energy and water balance at the land surface, and to include those observations in data assimilation systems to predict watershed hydrological cycles. The analysis of climate and land use scenarios will provide the inputs for the water resources management and planning to optimally use both surface water and groundwater. We will establish a transnational Mediterranean river monitoring network for sharing knowledge and data. Field sites and watershed case studies will be in Sardinia (Italy), Catalonia (Spain), south-west France, Cyprus, Egypt and Tunisia. The monitoring activity will be both at the field and basin scales. The case studies cover a wide range of spatial scales, climate and ecosystems, both natural and managed providing an extraordinary opportunity of knowledge development and international exchange along the Mediterranean biome and climate types.
Network WaterWorks2017
Call Water JPI 2018 Joint Call Closing the Water Cycle Gap

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, ambientale ed architettura, Università di Cagliari Coordinator Italy
2 Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute Partner Cyprus
3 Irrigation and Hydraulics Dept., Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University Partner Egypt
4 Centre d'études spatiales de la biosphère Partner France
5 Institut National de Recherche en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts Partner Tunisia