17 June 2016 Current Affairs: The 9 million Euro Indo-EU ‘Water4crops’ project was in news in third week of June 2016 after a review and planning meet on the project was conducted from 15 June to 17 June 2016 in New Delhi. The review meeting was held to mark the completion of 4-year of the project.
Water4Crops stands for “integrating bio-treated wastewater reuse and valorization with enhanced water use efficiency to support the Green Economy in Europe and India”.
Objective of the project : Developing innovative biotechnological wastewater treatments, even based on plant-systems, for boosting wastewater reuse in agriculture.Improving water use efficiency through agronomics, plant breeding and locally adapted irrigation technologies and techniques.
Features of Water4crops Project : It is one of the largest Indo-Euro projects co-funded by Government of India through the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology and the European Union. Indian government funded three million for the project while the European Commission through its 7th Framework Programme funded six million euro.
It was formed in 2012 under KBBE.2012.3.5-03: Biotechnological waste water treatments and reuse in agronomical systems.It was formed to address the emerging, increasingly important issue for the world: “Water and wastewater reuse and management.It provides an opportunity to efficiently utilize low-quality industrial, domestic and municipal wastewater by facilitating the development of various technologies for wastewater treatment at the local scale and its feasible use in agriculture.
The project brings together an Indo-European consortium of 36 organizations [14 Indian and 22 European] belonging to research institutions, universities, large industries and SMEs.
Success of the Project : The project has shown remarkable success by aiding the construction of wetlands containing plant species such as Canna indica, lemon grass (Cymbopogon), napier (Pennisetum perpureum X Pennisetum americarnum), para grass (Urochloa mutica), typha (Typha latifolia), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and a weed species Ageratum Conyzoides.
These plant species absorb harmful toxins as well as nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, inter alia, that contaminate the water due to overuse of chemical fertilizers in the agriculture sector.