The project will develop and implement an advanced system for monitoring, forecasting, and reporting on the state of the river valley ecosystem that are predominantly used for agriculture. The reference site is the Neretva Delta due to the diversity of ecological zones that vary spatially, in type and intensity of use, including surface waters within the river delta, karst aquifers and groundwater, agricultural land of varying intensity, protected wetlands and the coastal area. Although the problem of seawater intrusion and salinization of surface and groundwater, and thus the risk of land degradation, occurs throughout the Croatian coastal area, these processes are most pronounced in the Neretva Delta, which is considered one of the most vulnerable areas in Croatia to climate change.
The aim of the project is to collect spatially and temporally disaggregated data on water and soil quality through frequent monitoring with multiple sensors, in order to predict the process and propose solutions for the management of the system threatened by salinization and pollution. Current instrumental techniques for measuring physical and chemical indicators in the environment, especially in soil and water, advanced information technologies for data collection and storage, and available tools for statistical processing and modeling will be used in this project to achieve the following specific objectives:
1. establish a system for automated continuous monitoring of surface and groundwater quality at reference sites;
2. identify and analyze changes in the aquatic and terrestrial environment of the river delta, where the land is predominantly agricultural;
3. analysis and quantification of complex natural (mainly salinization) and anthropogenic (mainly agriculture) influences on the aquatic environment, taking into account the geomorphological, hydrological and pedological characteristics of the area and the type of land use;
4. linking meteorological data, data on salinity and other data collected in the project with data on nature and quality of fruits will allow to draw relevant conclusions on the impact of salinity on agricultural production in the Neretva Valley in the context of climate change;
5. evaluation of the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Neretva Valley from the economic and social points of view;
6. development of a hierarchically organized informationand educational platform with areas of use for scientific purposes, for users managing resources in the legal sphere, and finally for agricultural producers who will have updated data needed to implement agrotechnical measures in accordance with the standards of good agricultural practice.