Soil is the largest terrestrial water reservoir and a decisive factor in crop production and yield variability. A shortage of water to sustain crop production systems and other agro-ecosystem services is a major issue in many Mediterranean areas of the EU and climatic projections suggest that precipitation will become increasingly variable and unreliable in the near future. As many parts of China are facing similar problems, there is a common interest in increasing cooperation on this key issue to promote sustainable production systems in a changing environment.Scope:
Proposals will provide a platform for research on soil-water resources management based on a system approach by considering a number of regional climate scenarios in Europe and China. Activities will include the assessment of the function between crop yield variability and soil hydraulic properties by linking data and models from long-term experiments. Linkages between agricultural soil hydrology and threats will have to be systematically assessed and adaptation and mitigation methods provided, taking into account land-use dynamics, economic context and social aspects of soil water management. Proposals will develop and test good practices for sustainable on-farm water management and watershed practices adapted to local conditions (conventional and advanced technologies). Optimising circular approaches to re-use water and make use of waste water might also be envisaged in a comprehensive approach to water management in agricultural production systems.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Contributions for Chinese participants will come in addition and will be made available by China.Expected Impact: