The European pilot on agriculture in DROP will focus on two elements: 1) joint design, testing and 2) evaluation of drought prediction tools and systems that allow a swift change from high water to low water supplies in agricultural areas. Within the question of drought adaptation for agriculture, two main elements stand out. First, if low flow conditions and soil moisture contents can be predicted with more precision, water allocation to agriculture could be adjusted and optimized. The second mayor element related to climate change and agricultural production is that climate change will result in more extreme weather events; heavy rainfall will be followed by dry periods. Just like stable groundwater levels for nature, agricultural areas should be adjusted to be able to deal with fast changing supplies of water. If water supply to agriculture can shift fast between high and low water flows, the damage to agricultural production will be reduced or prevented.
The EU pilot on agriculture will be executed in NL and BE. Partners Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij (BE) and Waterschap Groot Salland (NL), (NWE regions of Flanders and Salland) will join forces and combine their expertise on drought in agricultural areas to jointly define and jointly evaluate two new drought adaptation measures for agricultural areas transferable to other NWE regions. Climate change may change precipitation patterns and lower the available water in agricultural areas. Mirror drought adaptation measures (forecasting methods and weather-based water control structures) will be carried out by those 2 partners in their regions, but jointly designed and jointly evaluated to generate NWE-wide applicability. Like nature, drought will also impact strongly on agricultural production. Waterschap Groot Salland will test an innovative weather-forecast-based remote-controlled inlet/outlet systems while Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij will further develop forecasting (and decision) models of extreme weather events, to inform agricultural players.