As indicated by the Rural Development Plans, in order to mitigate the effects of the generalized decrease in rainfall, which has led to water emergency situations, especially in the agricultural sector, with the RESTORE project it was decided to resort to strategies aimed at rationalizing the uses of the water resource. In this context, the “MINOR AND DIFFUSED WATER RESOURCES” are of strategic importance, generally unused due to their low cost in mono-functional terms, especially in protected areas, where there are restrictions on use imposed by legislation.
The project is essentially based on a more profitable use of these resources, in a multi-functional key, achievable through the re-functionalization of supply sources and local irrigation water schemes and the re-introduction of storage, drainage and canalization practices, through a real re-engineering and innovation of a model of local and agricultural development such as that of the “Mediterranean Diet”. Furthermore, directly related to the management of water resources is the promotion of agronomic practices to combat the phenomena of organic soil loss and surface erosion. Furthermore, taking into account the criticalities of the territorial area affected by the project, prone to widespread, slow and intermittent landslides, the interception and removal of runoff water practices represent a tool for implementing hydrogeological risk mitigation measures.
The multi-functional use of the water resource refers, in fact, to different opportunities to be exploited. First of all, the possibility of enhancing the context of sustainable and conservative agriculture (B.R.F.method), thus reducing the quantities of irrigation water necessary for the production of local varieties with high added value, typical of the Mediterranean Diet model, and to promote , safeguard and manage the local ecological network and biodiversity. Secondly, the re-functionalization of drainage works increases the ability of the natural network to intercept and remove surface runoff waters, providing the opportunity for a measure to contrast soil erosion and hydrogeological risk. This is associated with the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance a set of elements typical of the agricultural and rural landscape of the realities involved.
The integrated implementation of the above actions, combined with the multiplier effect produced by the cooperation agreements of the RESTORE project, will make it possible to achieve the important project objectives of a general nature such as the recovery of important Mediterranean landscape units, also through the enhancement of typical elements of traditional architecture, the reduction of hydrogeological instability phenomena, which produces exponentially positive effects depending on the number of participants in the action, adequate management and protection of water resources and above all the generation of a production context strongly characterized by environmental quality that allows to increase the actual and perceived value of the agri-food productions of the Mediterranean Diet carried out in the territories of implementation.
The project also involves companies and OPs (stakeholders) located outside the main territorial area of reference, with an interest in exporting the proposed methodologies also in different regional territorial contexts.