About the Project
The overall goal of WaterPro is to develop eco-efficient tools and models for good water quality management and protection for the Northern Periphery sparsely populated area. This will be done through development of a toolbox of good management practices and a communication platform for the agricultural and mining extraction industries. In addition, several innovative, low cost practices will be implemented in actual pilot sites and their treatment and cost-efficiency evaluated. WaterPro will also enhance the preparedness of responsible authorities and local resource users to protect water quality, human health, ecosystems and stimulate economic growth and development.
The WaterPro Project has two aims:
1) Provide more eco efficient runoff management systems in the Northern Periphery Area in anticipation of the effects of climate change.
2) Provide a faster transfer of knowledge and develop wider cooperation within the Northern Periphery Area and improve runoff management systems and techniques.
The common territorial challenges to be tackled by WaterPro include the mitigation of nutrient pollution caused by mineral extraction and agricultural practices. Climate change will also challenge the NPA area with more frequent and intense rainfall which will exacerbate the negative effects on environmental water quality. Certain skills, expertise and knowledge are scattered and distributed throughout the NPA region as recognized by WaterPro partners. There is also an absence of standardised water policies, tools and solutions to address these challenges. WaterPro will tackle these challenges by bringing together, implementing, testing and proving the effectiveness of several mitigation solutions while enhancing multilevel cooperation. WaterPro will collect and modify runoff management tools specifically suitable for the NPA. WaterPro will incorporate the main end-users in tight collaboration (advisory boards) in pilot sites from planning to practical implementation. Many local /regional decision-making authorities lack resources, reference sites, or evidence regarding different practices and their treatment effectiveness. WaterPro will provide guidance and best practice on the most sustainable runoff management practices. Environmental water quality is of serious urgent concern both in the agricultural community and mining sector; they are both blamed for the poor water quality in these NPA regions. Advisory boards will be established in each region, with outreach to the whole agricultural and rural communities.
WaterPro will collect dispersed knowledge and expertise in runoff management into a well-structured tool-box, especially tailored for sparsely populated NPA areas currently facing water pollution and climate change issues. The main focus is in controlling and managing runoffs from agriculture and mineral extraction sites which both are important sectors economically but cause pollution threats to the water and soil environment. Historically, different regions have developed their specific methods for managing runoff, but well-structured and comparable data for eco-efficient and profound decision-making is missing. There are also some new methods (eg. novel reusable filter materials) under development which have not yet been tested in different climates or geographical conditions. WaterPro will fill in these gaps through collaborative piloting in several sites. The WaterPro partners have complementary expertise and experience and this offers a fruitful platform for mutual learning: Finnish partners have long experience in runoff monitoring; Icelandic and Faroe Island partners have good capabilities in climate change preparedness for runoff peaks, Sweden is a leader in nitrogen removal and modelling, N. Ireland and Ireland partners are frontrunners in innovative willow coppice systems for runoff and waste water management together with biomass bioenergy production. Scotland is a leader in innovative systems for phosphorus removal and reuse.