TOXICROP: Cyanotoxins in Irrigation Waters: Surveillance, Risk Assessment, and Innovative Remediation proposals

Water scarcity and food production are some of the greatest challenges of our times. Fresh water resources in many countries are vulnerable due to their biogeographical and climatic characteristics. Moreover higher water consumption and higher human impacts in the downstream water bodies is leading to a higher eutrophication with increased incidence and intensity of cyanobacteria blooms and their toxins. The scarcity of clean water resources leads to the compulsory use of water containing cyanobacteria and their toxins in agriculture. This project aims through Research and Innovation Staff Exchange to map agricultural risk areas of cyanotoxin occurrence in consortium member countries, to access the fate of cyanotoxins in crops as also bioaccumulation in crops and food contamination related to the use of eutrophic waters in irrigation. Environment-friendly, low-cost techniques of water treatment will also be developed, and methods to detect and assess toxicity of cyanotoxins improved. This project seeks to integrate the activities already developed by the partners, and develop new multidisciplinary activities which could lead to the maximization of the research and foster the creation of knowledge in the domains of water toxicology, food safety and eco-technologies of water treatment. The main innovation aspect of this project rely on the multidisciplinary approach to the subject under study, which is expected to contribute to the elucidation of the minimum quality requirements applied to the irrigation waters. The integration of countries with different weather regimes and agricultural practices in one single project will constitute a unique approach to this subject and to consolidate the transnational collaborations. The expected results will be delivered as guidelines for water management and treatment and will contribute to the implementation of a more sustainable and safe agriculture in Europe and worldwide.