ICRA RESEARCH: The PRIMA-SAFE project: water reuse strategies for small farmers in Mediterranean areas
PRIMA-SAFE “Sustainable water reuse practices improving safety in agriculture, food and environment” (2022-2025) was awarded by PRIMA 2021 (programme Section 2, topic 2.2.1). It is a project coordinated by Università degli Studi della Basilicata (Italy), with other 11 partners (including ICRA-CERCA) and a budget of almost 2.1 M€ (funded 1.5 M€). It is led at ICRA-CERCA by Gianluigi Buttiglieri, Sara Rodriguez-Mozaz, with the participation of Diana Alvarez, and a funded ICRA-CERCA budget of 160,000 € (total 221,867 €).
PRIMA-SAFE focuses on smallholders’ farms in Mediterranean areas affected by water scarcity, farms providing in some areas from 60 to 80% of the food and, due to the increase of the world population, under growing pressure especially in rural poor regions. PRIMA-SAFE will optimize innovative water reuse strategies, ensuring their safety both for environment and human health and more sustainable agriculture production systems, through an integrated water perspective. PRIMA-SAFE will: a) develop, validate, and optimise novel low-cost and low-energy urban decentralized wastewater treatment and reuse; b) evaluate their impact on crops performance, using modern -omics tools, and on local biodiversity; c) monitor emerging pollutants in water, soil, and produced crops and evaluate the safety of the proposed approaches; d) minimise the impacts and promote environment respectful practices like pest management by biofertilizers; e) locally promote farmers’ acceptability.
ICRA-CERCA, leading task 1.1, will characterise selected emerging pollutants in crops (e.g., tomatoes, oregano, and lettuce) grown on-site (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Greece). ICRA-CERCA, leading WP2, will also perform environmental and human health risk assessment of irrigation practices based on the characterization of water, soils, and crops.