Funding of more than 4 million euros to prevent the impact of climate change and global change on groundwater contamination

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Ana B. Pereiro and João M. M. Araújo, members of Bio(chemical) Process Engineering group of LAQV-REQUIMTE of NOVA School of Science and Technology, coordinate the MAR2PROTECT project under the scope of the Research and Innovation Actions from Horizon Europe (HORIZON-CL6-2022-ZEROPOLLUTION-01), awarded with a total funding of 4,143,681.25 €.




The impact of climate and global change (CC and GC) is endangering human health and welfare, food security, and biodiversity. Urgent actions are needed to achieve the 2030 goals of zero pollution. The MAR2PROTECT project will provide a multilevel methodology to prevent the impacts of GC and CC on groundwater contamination, based on a new-generation Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) approach. A decision support tool based on Artificial Intelligence (M-AI-R DSS), will be the core of this innovative MAR and will incorporate technological and societal engagement information to improve groundwater quality and quantity. To ensure a high replication potential, M-AI-R DSS will collect information from 5 demonstration sites in EU countries (Portugal, Italy, Spain and Netherlands) and 2 in non-EU countries (Tunisia and South Africa) which were carefully chosen based on data from previous successful projects and on their wide range of settings in terms of climatic conditions, water sources, type of pollution / MAR scheme, and political/societal context. Besides, MAR2PROTECT will ensure a strong engagement of national and EU policymakers that, in collaboration with different experts, will guarantee the strengthening EU policy framework and assure collaboration in policy implementation to prevent groundwater contamination.

Thanks to its holistic approach and to the high replicability of its results, MAR2PROTECT will lead to a marked enhancement in groundwater protection across the EU and beyond, and to the generation of knowledge for the transition to a sustainable water management. The consortium includes 8 partners and 1 affiliated entity from 6 different EU countries, 1 partner from Switzerland (FHNW) and 2 international partners from Tunisia and South Africa: 7 Research and Technology Organisations (NOVA as coordinator, CIIMAR, CETAQUA + AQUATEC, IHE, IT, ISSBAT, SUWI), 2 Universities (UNIBO, KTU), and 1 tech transfer entity (FEUGA). In addition, the inclusion of 3 large water utilities (AdTA, Dunea and HERA) as associated partners, and a policy maker (City of Cape Town) from South Africa will guarantee a relevant enhancement of the project impact.



Coordinators of the MAR2PROTECT project

- Ana B. Pereiro (LAQV, FCT NOVA). E-mail:

- João M. M. Araújo (LAQV, FCT NOVA). E-mail: