Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

ICRA RESEARCH: The PRIMA-SAFE project: water reuse strategies for small farmers in Mediterranean areas

Monday, 13 March 2023

PRIMA-SAFESustainable water reuse practices improving safety in agriculture, food and environment ” (2022-2025) is a project funded by the PRIMA 2021 call (programme Section 2, topic 2.2.1). It is coordinated by the Università degli Studi della Basilicata (Italy), with 11 other partners (including ICRA-CERCA) and a budget of almost €2.1 million (€1.5 million financed). It is led at ICRA-CERCA by Gianluigi Buttiglieri, Sara Rodriguez-Mozaz, with the participation of Diana Álvarez, and a budget financed by ICRA-CERCA of €160,000 (total €221,867).

PRIMA-SAFE focuses on small farmers in Mediterranean areas affected by water scarcity, farmers who in some areas provide 60 to 80% of food and, due to the increase in world population, under increasing pressure especially in rural and poor regions . PRIMA-SAFE will optimize innovative water reuse strategies , ensuring their safety both for the environment and for human health and more sustainable agricultural production systems, through an integrated water perspective. PRIMA-SAFE: a) will develop, validate and optimize low-cost and low-consumption decentralized treatment and reuse of urban wastewater; b) will evaluate its impact on crop yield, using modern omics tools, and on local biodiversity; c) monitor emerging contaminants in water, soil and crops and evaluate the safety of proposed approaches; d) promote environmentally friendly practices, such as pest management using biofertilizers, and minimize impacts; e) will promote locally the acceptability of the solutions by farmers.

ICRA-CERCA, coordinating task 1.1, will characterize selected emerging contaminants present in crops (eg tomatoes, oregano and lettuce) to be grown in situ (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Greece). WP2 leader ICRA-CERCA will also conduct an environmental and human health risk assessment of irrigation practices based on water, soil and crop characterization.