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Irrigation in EU agriculture

13-12-2019

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of ...

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of water resources. Therefore, the issue of water scarcity requires careful reflection on the trade-off between higher agricultural productivity and the deterioration of water resources. A number of elements determine the amount of irrigation water used in agriculture, from the types of crop and cropping method to the characteristics of the soil and the irrigation technique, to name just a few. Therefore, agriculture itself provides opportunities for better water management and water savings, through both traditional farm practices and new farming technologies. Irrigation has been a feature of European agriculture for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, the majority of irrigated agricultural areas are in the EU’s southern regions, in particular in Spain and Italy. However, there are areas equipped for irrigation elsewhere, especially in the Netherlands. Over 40 % of the EU's water use is on agriculture, and most of the freshwater abstraction is for agricultural use in countries like Greece, Spain, and Cyprus. Prolonged periods of drought in many parts of the Union, the effects of climate change and pollution, as well as competition over use add further pressure on EU waters. Ensuring food security in view of climate change requires improvement in water-management capacity, including making users (farmers) more responsible. In recent times, the environmental performance of sectoral policies, such as in the area of agriculture, is increasingly scrutinised by citizens, stakeholders, and policy-makers. Various EU policy initiatives have been launched to address the challenge of sustainable water use in agriculture, including a more integrated approach to water management, water re-use, research and innovation, and more environmental ambition in the agricultural policy. Better policy coordination between EU policies and actions is seen as key to achieving the sustainable safeguarding of EU waters.

Análisis para la Comisión AGRI - La agricultura de Andalucía

15-03-2016

Esta nota ha sido redactada para la delegación de la comisión de agricultura y desarrollo rural del Parlamento Europeo a Andalucía (España) de mayo de 2016. Consta de: 1) una parte introductoria, que presenta los principales datos políticos, físico-climáticos y demográficos; 2) un capítulo específico dedicado al marco macroeconómico de la UE y de España; 3) el análisis del sector agroalimentario andaluz; 4) la problemática medioambiental de la región; 5) finalmente, se comenta la ejecución de los ...

Esta nota ha sido redactada para la delegación de la comisión de agricultura y desarrollo rural del Parlamento Europeo a Andalucía (España) de mayo de 2016. Consta de: 1) una parte introductoria, que presenta los principales datos políticos, físico-climáticos y demográficos; 2) un capítulo específico dedicado al marco macroeconómico de la UE y de España; 3) el análisis del sector agroalimentario andaluz; 4) la problemática medioambiental de la región; 5) finalmente, se comenta la ejecución de los fondos europeos agrícolas en Andalucía y se dan algunos apuntes sobre los principales efectos regionales de la nueva PAC para el periodo 2014/2020, en función del modelo de aplicación elegido por las autoridades españolas.

The Internet of Things: Opportunities and challenges

19-05-2015

PDF Version The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a distributed network connecting physical objects that are capable of sensing or acting on their environment and able to communicate with each other, other machines or computers. The data these devices report can be collected and analysed in order to reveal insights and suggest actions that will produce cost savings, increase efficiency or improve products and services. The IoT is growing rapidly, with an estimated 25 billion connected objects throughout ...

PDF Version The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a distributed network connecting physical objects that are capable of sensing or acting on their environment and able to communicate with each other, other machines or computers. The data these devices report can be collected and analysed in order to reveal insights and suggest actions that will produce cost savings, increase efficiency or improve products and services. The IoT is growing rapidly, with an estimated 25 billion connected objects throughout the world by 2020, and added value from the IoT of US$1.9 trillion by the same year. The IoT can thus be a key contributor to achieving the EU's Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However the IoT also poses important challenges to society. Open standards and interoperability may need to be encouraged, in order to widen choices for consumers and ensure competition and innovation. Sufficient radio spectrum must be allocated for future needs. With so many interconnected devices, security is a major concern. A balance needs to be achieved between the rights of citizens to keep personal data private and protected, and to consent to its use in other contexts, and the significant benefits that can accrue to enterprises and society from the analysis of such rich data sources. The European Union is supporting the development of the IoT through funding for research as well as competitiveness and innovation. While EU institutions have taken a notable interest in the IoT, the balance between too much and too little regulation may need to be carefully managed if the full benefits of the IoT are to be realised.

The World Bank Considers Feasible the Building of the Tajik Rogun Dam

22-07-2014

Water issues in Central Asia, which have proven contentious since the breakup of the Soviet Union, have attracted international attention with the World Bank's recent impact assessment condoning Tajikistan's plan to build an enormous dam. The Rogun Dam, under construction for decades, is strongly contested by downstream Uzbekistan. Tensions between energy-deprived Tajikistan and water-starved Uzbekistan – exacerbated by the region's endemically unsustainable resource management and growing competition ...

Water issues in Central Asia, which have proven contentious since the breakup of the Soviet Union, have attracted international attention with the World Bank's recent impact assessment condoning Tajikistan's plan to build an enormous dam. The Rogun Dam, under construction for decades, is strongly contested by downstream Uzbekistan. Tensions between energy-deprived Tajikistan and water-starved Uzbekistan – exacerbated by the region's endemically unsustainable resource management and growing competition – have prevented the countries from pooling their complementary resources. Downstream Uzbekistan has applied political and economic pressure to its poorer upstream neighbour to ensure the huge Uzbek cotton fields continue to be watered. For its part, Tajikistan hopes to export electricity to Afghanistan with the hydropower project, which has suffered from a lack of funding as well as political wrangling. The dam, located in an earthquake-prone region, would be the tallest in the world – and the most cost-effective way to boost Tajikistan's economy and energy efficiency. According to the World Bank, whose reports included technological and environmental considerations, the construction and operation of the dam are feasible, and the proper application of international standards would reduce the risk of failure. The Bank also recommends that downstream countries have an equity participation in the project.

Water scarcity in least developed countries

01-06-2012

Lack of water is expected to affect one-third of the population worldwide by 2025. Today, 1.2 billion people live in areas of scarcity, while 1.6 billion face water shortages due to economic problems. The issue is particularly worrying in least developed countries (LDCs), where water is scarce or there is little or no infrastructure to extract, distribute or conserve water.

Lack of water is expected to affect one-third of the population worldwide by 2025. Today, 1.2 billion people live in areas of scarcity, while 1.6 billion face water shortages due to economic problems. The issue is particularly worrying in least developed countries (LDCs), where water is scarce or there is little or no infrastructure to extract, distribute or conserve water.

Workshop Assessing Commission's Communication on "Water Scarcity and Droughts" Consolidated texts

17-04-2008

Autor externo

Dr Mr. Luis Bulhão Martins (Portuguese farmers confederation - CAP - COPA/COGECA) Dr Jürg Gerber (Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD) Dr Jeff Huntington (European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen) Dr Sergiy Moroz (WWF Global Freshwater Programme - Europe) Mr Andrew Farmer, IEEP London

Water Scarcity and Droughts

29-02-2008

Autor externo

Andrew Farmer (Ed), Samuela Bassi and Malcolm Fergusson (IEEP)* Institute for European Environmental Policy London, United Kingdom

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