GLOBAQUA COPING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER SCARCITY AT EXPO
On 17th June 2015 the open workshop ‘Coping with climate change and water scarcity in Africa and Europe: improving monitoring and water use efficiency in agriculture’ was held in Milan during the universal exposition EXPO 2015 with the main objective of showing activities and results of a small selection of FP7 research projects addressing water monitoring, water management and irrigation management in Europe and Africa. During this event six EU project coordinators (CLIMAFRICA www.climafrica.net, WAHARA www.wahara.eu, EAU4FOOD www.eau4food.info, MARS www.mars-project.eu, GLOBAQUA www.globaquaproject.eu, FIGARO www.figaro-irrigation.net), all dealing with water scarcity and water-use in crop production, presented their activities and results. After each speaking session, the floor was for a moderated discussion with an audience composed by relevant agriculture and water stakeholders, mainly researchers, international development players, irrigation specialists, water basin managers. The workshop provided the audience with state-of the-art information on innovative tools, techniques and practices for enhancing the monitoring and the management of fresh water resources at basin level, improving water use efficiency at farm level to ensure food security and coping with additional challenges brought by climate change. At the end of the event it was recognized that research has a fundamental role in the development and promotion of wiser and more efficient use of water in agriculture, which now becomes an issue in many parts of the world. Improving water use and water productivity in agriculture becomes a strategy of paramount importance for ensuring food security. Considering the expected increasing competition for water use, new options and innovative solutions need to be explored for effective monitoring of water availability, for improving water management at basin and regional levels, as well as efficient irrigation management at field level, and for the provision of viable alternative water sources (including reuse of waste water and closed water cycle production systems) to be used for irrigation and decrease the unsustainable pressure on an already scarce fundamental natural resource.