The WATERAGRI Consortium will develop and test a new framework as part of the WATERAGRI concept for the use of small water retention approaches focusing on integrated constructed wetlands and innovative capture technologies for managing excess and shortage of water and nutrient recovery from agricultural catchments. Partners will extend the existing framework modelling approach with new data types, which also need to be linked with models (both technically (sensors-IoT-database) and methodologically (how to best merge measurement data and model simulations)). WATERAGRI will develop an integrated GIS- and cloud-based design and management framework based on a simple-to-use Open Access tool.

The links between agricultural land and water management and soil-sediment-water management for increased nutrient uptake, water quality improvement, water retention and groundwater recharge will be assessed. WATERAGRI will focus on affordable and easy-to-implement farm solutions such as farm constructed wetlands, which are a novel type of integrated constructed wetlands, and bio-based nutrient-collecting membranes and biochar adsorbents for nutrient uptake.

The modelling framework is capable of simulating the water, energy and nutrient cycles in the soil, groundwater, surface water, vegetation and engineering structures in a fully coupled way, thus fully reflecting the complexity of agricultural systems. The measurement data from online and in situ sensors include soil moisture content, groundwater levels, stream discharge, crop state and water levels in retention reservoirs and drains. In addition, also remotely sensed observations like soil moisture content and leaf area index will be available and used. These integrated physically-based terrestrial system models will be combined with data assimilation with the goal to provide near real-time simulations of the terrestrial system, considering recent measurement data from on-line in situ and remote sensors. This allows for example for a significant increase in the efficiency of irrigation with optimal and joint use of surface and subsurface resources.

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