Milan Pilot Action: Winter Irrigation for Groundwater Recharge

Date: 27.11.2023
To meet the challenges of posed by unevenly distributed rainfall and increasing periods of drought, an innovative approach – winter irrigation – has been used in a pilot action in Milan. The concept is simple but effective – using existing irrigation canals, water that would otherwise run off into the sea during the heavy autumn and winter months can be collected and stored in the aquifer.

With climate change causing disruptions in the traditional rainfall pattern, the need to find sustainable water management solutions has become more pressing than ever. Farmers in particular are affected by water shortages during the crucial summer months, when irrigation is essential for their crops. By tapping into the potential of winter irrigation, the Milan pilot action aims to recharge the groundwater and create an underground storage reservoir for periods of drought.

To further explore the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach, the Polytechnic University of Milan recently held a workshop on downscaling of climate change prediction models. The event brought together a variety of experts from different sectors involved in the pilot project. With a common goal in mind, participants engaged in productive discussions and shared their working methodologies, fostering a collaboration in Central Europe.