Water resources management of coastal agricultural environments – resilience of climate change impacts
The AGROCLIMA research project investigates the consequences of climate change on coastal agricultural zones (e.g. river deltas), which form the most wealth-producing but vulnerable ecosystems.
The principal project’s objectives were:
a) The study of the natural processes controlling the formation and evolution of coastal lands (i.e. deltas), as a result of the interaction of terrestrial, atmospheric and marine processes.
b) Recording and evaluating the effects of human interventions related to water resources (e.g. control of water-flow, over-pumping) for increasing agricultural yields.
c) Quantified evaluation of the consequences of the different scenarios of climate change on the coastal agricultural environment (e.g. aquifer salinisation, water quality, desertification, coastal erosion).
d) Investigation of the interaction between natural processes and agro-environmental parameters for the development of methodology/tools for the optimum use of the water resources.
e) Evaluation of Sustainable Development Strategies for the natural deltaic system to mitigate the consequences of the climatic change on agricultural environments.
f) Training of new scientists in agro-environmental issues related to the impact of climatic change on coastal environments.
The aims of the proposed project were achieved through an inter-disciplinary and systemic approach that incorporates:
(i) synergy of different specialties of sciences,
(ii) use of innovative methodologies (e.g. remote-sensing, applied geophysics) and
(iii) proper mathematical simulations (e.g. simulation of coastal aquifer’ salinisation, coastline retreat).