The first European app to empower citizens against floods, fires and extreme weather

Thanks to this app, citizens can warn other citizens of natural risks by sharing geolocalised photos and information on floods, fires and extreme weather. The research project I-REACT, funded by the European Commission, launches today a free app to keep citizens safe from floods, fires and extreme weather. The app enables its users to share pictures […]

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VISCA project announces a promising harvest

On 5th - 6th April 2018, a technical meeting of VISCA project took place at BSC premises in Barcelona. The main objective of this meeting was focused on how to operate the platform that will be used in the 3 demo sites in Italy, Portugal and Spain.

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Climate change impacts on the Wine sector

Impacts of Climate change over grapes and wine: The Problem

VISCA is a R&D Project that integrates climate, agricultural and end-users specifications in order to design medium- and long-term adaptation strategies to climate change. The project is led by Meteosim and it is composed of 11 members from different fields including end-users (Codorniu in Spain, Mastroberardino in Italy and Symington in Portugal).

The 1st joint General Meeting and Stakeholders Workshop was held in Portugal in mid November. As a result of this meeting several interesting outputs were generated, and it was published an interview in this magazine (Revista "Jovens Agricultoresª nº112, page 22 and 23), so this is the first of a series of posts explaining those "early results" of VISCA projects, describing the climate change impacts on the wine sector:

Agriculture is a highly dependent sector on heat, sunlight and water, and therefore very sensitive to climate change. According to the current climate projections, weather events worldwide are very likely to become more extreme and frequent. In Europe, Southern countries will be frequently affected by heat waves, therefore making this region more vulnerable to droughts and wildfires, which will lead to economic, environmental, and even human losses.

In addition, Mediterranean countries are prone to undergo hydrological resources' decrease, due to climate modification (lower precipitation rates) and demographic concentration changes. Agriculture happens to be the major land use of the earth, and this is expected to increase as population growth and diet changes may drive food needs up to 60 % by 2050. Although agriculture has shown ability to adapt to changing conditions, is very likely that the above projections overpasses agriculture´s adaptation limits.

Grape production is not different from the rest of agricultural activity, and they are likewise inherently interconnected to climate and weather, and, although grapes may grow worldwide, premium wine-grape production occurs in Mediterranean-like climate ranges. Changes in climate and weather patterns are threatening premium wine-grapes (i.e. decrease of the grape quality and quantity, undesirable changes in alcohol production, and acid and sugar concentrations), directly affecting the European wine industry.

Direct consequences is that summers are very warm and last long, with almost no rain, which gives rise to earlier harvesting dates, under higher temperatures, which directly affects the quality of the resulting wine.

 

How will VISCA Project address those impacts?

As a result of climate change, the anticipation of the phenological stages of the vineyard is commonly expected, with negative effects on the productivity and quality of the grapes. VISCA intends to help the vine grower using several approaches:

  • Integrating several data sources such as end-users requirements, soil properties
  • vineyards characterisation together with meteorological (short- and medium-term) forecasts, irrigation and agricultural models into a Geo-Spatial database.

All this information will be supplied to the Decision Support System, which will forecast the optimum harvesting dates, and compare it with the current state of the life cycle of the vineyards. If this period is out of ideal conditions, it will suggest end-users crop management actions to apply to adjust the life cycle of the vineyard:

  • crop forcing
  • canopy management
  • to adapt other orchard management practices (mainly irrigation) to fit harvest time with high quality grapes

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VISCA project 1st General Meeting

VISCA holds its 1st joint General Meeting and Stakeholders Workshop, November 13-15th 2017, Portugal

VISCA Project will provide a Climate Service (CS) and Decision Support System (DSS) that integrate climate, agricultural and end-users specifications in order to design medium- and long-term adaptation strategies to climate change. The project is validated by real demonstrations with end-users on three demo sites in Spain, Italy and Portugal. VISCA started officially in May 2017 for a period of 3 years. It is led by Meteosim and it is composed of 11 members from different fields including end-users (Codorniu, Mastroberardino and Symington).

The 1st General meeting will take place in Symington Family Estates main office, who are part of the consortium, located in Vila Noca de Gaia, Portugal. VISCA partners will present the current status of the project and the achieved milestones during its first 6 months. The occurred and expected risks and challenges as well as the next planned activities for the coming period will be illustrated by each Work package coordinator.

On the following couple of days, VISCA 1st Stakeholder Workshop will gather members from the project advisory board (PAB) of the project and other invited end-users in Quinta do Bomfim, Pinhao, Portugal. During the first day, an introduction of the project, consortium and the PAB members will start-off the workshop. Then, a brainstorming session and a series of questions on how climate change is affecting the different sectors of agriculture including vineyards will be organised. This brainstorming session aims to gather more insights of the needs of the end-users and related stakeholders. The first workshop day will be concluded with a field visit in the Bomfim vistor center.

On the second day of the workshop, participants will have a training session on the primary mock-ups of the VISCA tool and a virtual guide through its main functionalities. Feedback from the participants will be collected to make improvements in the tool.

For more detailed information, click here.

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WEAM4i Successful Final Workshop!

On April 6th 2017, WEAM4i Final Workshop was held in Barcelona to present the results of the project and its success case studies

During the event, the achievements of WEAM4i smart tools which lead to better efficiency in irrigation – of both Water and Energy – were illustrated by WEAM4i consortium. The tools were demonstrated in different sites in Spain, Portugal and Germany. The event was joined by around 50 different stakeholders from the irrigation communities as well as water and energy sectors across Europe!

Another purpose of the event was to make synergies with the different projects and initiatives working on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus.

As an example, the Information system of Weather forecasting for the agro sector was presented by METEOSIM (link). All the presented tools have been tested on different demo sites across Europe (specific agro locations in Spain, Portugal and Germany).

weam4i final workshop

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Meteosim