Environmental impact of agricultural activities

Environmental impact on water

  • Characterize the quality of irrigation return flows (nitrate, phosphorus and pesticides) in the Ebro Basin and analyze its relationship with agricultural irrigation and fertilization practices.
  • Optimize diffuse pollution control strategies through simulation models that allow establishing the effect of selected irrigation scenarios, cultivation techniques and climate change on irrigation returns (quantity and quality).
  • Consolidate the Ebro Irrigation Quality Control Network in collaboration with the Ebro River Basin Authority.

Environmental impact on the atmosphere

  • Evaluation of the effect of different environmental variables (soil, climate) and agronomic practices (sprinkler irrigation management and use of microbial inhibitors) on the emission of greenhouse gases – GHG (nitrous oxide, N2O, carbon dioxide, CO2 and methane , CH4).
  • Creation of scientific bases for the elaboration of emission inventories from agricultural sources: Definition of emission factors, models and tools for the quantification and mitigation of GHG from agriculture.
  • Actions to reduce the emission of ammonia (NH3) from crop fertilization

Environmental impact on soils and habitats of interest

  • Generation of thematic cartography and functional capacity in the face of agrarian intensification.
  • Ecosystem services in arid zones with soil and climate limitations.
  • Formulation of bio-geo-soil-diversity and agricultural production indices to harmonize EU agricultural policies with the protection of habitats and the conservation of soil and water.

Impact of the research line:

Diagnosing the effect of agricultural activities on the quality of water and the atmosphere, and prescribing standards to minimize agricultural pollution are critical requirements to adapt agricultural systems to European Directives and international legislation on the environment. The integrating perspective of this line is of special interest in the context of sustainable management. Consequently, its social, economic and environmental impact aims at reconciling prosperous agriculture, rural development, the conservation of natural resources and the mitigation of climate change.