UMinho creates app that alerts farmers about climate change

The institution is creating a support platform for decision making in the water sector, in order to plan scenarios for agricultural exploitation and water use in the medium and long term.

The Center for Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA) at the University of Minho coordinates a project to alert farmers about climate change, helping them to optimize crop irrigation and to anticipate or postpone harvests, this Thursday was announced.

In a statement, the University of Minho says that the project, called 'Climalert', includes a mobile application and a web platform. The mobile phone application, which is in the testing phase, allows the farmer to simply and graphically record and analyze trends in the state of his crop and productivity, or assess temperature, precipitation and weather cycles ”, the statement reads.

Along with the application, a web platform to support decision making in the water sector is being designed in order to plan scenarios for agricultural exploitation and water use in the medium and long term.

“Whoever decides and invests, thus sees the most beneficial odds for the environment and for your business”, the statement emphasizes.

The project brings together partners from Portugal, Spain and Germany and has 845 thousand euros from the European Union, until 2021. It will be presented on Friday, at the Monastery of Tibães, in Braga, within the scope of Greenfest, a sustainability festival.

The coordinator of 'Climalert', Cláudia Pascoal, says that the tool intends to "marry" the interests of the sectors of agriculture and water resources ".

Which is difficult, since water is used a lot in agriculture, but sometimes it is returned to ecosystems in a contaminated way ”, says the CBMA researcher and professor at the UMinho School of Science.

For Cláudia Pascoal, “this project is valuable, as it promotes sustainability with economic benefits for farmers and for environmental managers, who have to manage river basins taking into account climate change”.

The 'Climalert' tools were created at UMinho, through CBMA, Algoritmi and Microelectromechanical Systems research centers, and are being tested in the three countries of the consortium.

The 'Climalert' also involves the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), the Catalan Institute for Water Research (Spain) and the Helmholtz Environmental Research Center (Germany).

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