Agriculture - Water Management - Climate Change

April 2018 - March 2022

More people live in cities around the world than in the countryside. A vital cause is the deteriorating quality of life in rural areas worldwide. Here, climate change has a particularly strong effect through increasing extreme weather events. These result in a lack of water for agricultural purpose on the one hand and on the other hand a temporary excess of water.

Over the last decade, long periods of drought and heavy rainfall occur more frequently. As a result, arable land is lost and excess nutrients burden the quality of surface waters. When extreme weather affects the natural growing cycle, nutrients that plants cannot take up drip into groundwater resources, large amounts of loose soil erode into surface waters. In Bavaria alone, only 15% of the watercourses reach the environmental objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Agriculture is a central actor in this pitch. It needs large amounts of clean water to irrigate produce in the fields, but also to process and distribute harvested products. Water management distributes and cleans the common good “water” for (re)use as drinking water and use water. This procedure is costly. However, water extraction for agricultural as well as private consumption is still free although the charges for wastewater disposal hardly cover the infrastructural costs.

In order to avoid conflict and alienation between agriculture, water management, and consumer society, this project aims to foster dialogue and productive exchange between different acting groups. Jointly developing solutions for a sustainable future.