The project focuses on enabling farmers to act successfully as water managers in changing climatic conditions. The project will present water risk management practices that will reduce the consequences of flooding, droughts, water shortage and nutrient transport.
The emphasis on the farmer as a water manager is contributing towards implementing EU policies, such as the Water Framework Directive. The final result of the project is a water management concept to use as a manual for farmers and a set of recommendations on future land and water management planning.


2 – Promoting the Sustainable Management of our Environment
Area of Intervention
2.3 Adapting to and reducing risks posed to society and nature by a changing climate


Aquarius aims to develop the farmer as water manager able to practice sustainable farming under climatic changes with due respect to environmental protection. Farmers can take an active role in the positive management of water resources through partnerships with other farmers, water boards, local and national government.
Within this overall goal Aquarius aims to:

  • Identify common and particular constraints on farmers successfully acting as water managers;
  • Develop innovative mixes of technical, financial, institutional approaches to integrated land-water management by farmers;
  • Test approaches to participation in the cooperative planning and implementation of land-water management initiatives by agencies and farmers;
  • Incorporate state-of-the-art research outcomes into management and policy (particularly from climatic changes, agro-ecology and governance);
  • Increase the interaction between land-water stakeholders both locally and across boundaries (local, national and EU) and across sectors (e.g. land, water and recreation);
  • Ensure a legacy by creating demonstration sites and stakeholder networks that will continue to encourage further innovation.

Expected Outcomes

  • State of the art studies on current farming practices, hydrological and ecological studies;
  • Identification of: barriers and opportunities for farmers becoming water managers, future trends and future challenges, key methods to deal with climate change;
  • A water management concept to use as a manual for farmers to work as water managers;
  • Recommendations on future land and water management planning.

Norsk prosjekteier



01.01.2009 - 31.12.2011


Total: 5 819 690 €

Andre partnere

Fylkesmannen i Østfold
Danish Ministry of the Environment, Environment Centre Aalborg
Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland
Provincie Drenthe
Waterschap Hunze en Aa’s
Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen
Aberdeenshire Council
Macaulay Institute
Halmstad University
Rural Economy and Agricultural Society of Halland
Municipality of Laholm
Regional Development Council
County administration of Halland