Assuring water Availability in Agriculture under changing CLIMAte conditions

Reference: LIFE20 CCA/BE/001720 | Acronym: Life ACLIMA



The agricultural and horticultural sector is increasingly facing water shortage, while the need for water grows. More good quality and safe food is required to feed the growing global population. However, climate change brings higher temperatures and prolonged periods of more extreme drought in summers. This results in a strong decrease in water availability for plants and animals, while the need for water increases due to the increased evapotranspiration in horticulture and a rise in drinking water and cooling needs for farm animals.



The main objective of LIFE ACLIMA is to demonstrate technologies and tools for the agricultural and horticultural sector to increase water availability and strengthen the resilience of the water landscape to adapt to the effects of climate change (heat, drought and flooding).

The project’s specific objectives are to:

  • Demonstrate innovative technologies, strategies and measures for agricultural and horticultural companies to adapt to declining water availability;
  • Identify, disseminate and transfer best practices at company, cross-company and regional levels, while respecting plant quality, animal welfare and surrounding water systems and ecosystems;
  • Develop evaluation tools and innovative company models that are tailored to fit different branches of agriculture and horticulture and for different climate scenarios;
  • Provide advice and guidance on climate-robust water management for the agricultural and horticultural sector in the Province of Antwerp and beyond; and
  • Prepare an action plan, including a letter to the local and national authorities, to stimulate policies for the Province of Antwerp and Flanders as a whole to support the agricultural and horticultural sector’s adaptation to changing water availability.

This project is in line with the LIFE programme priority area of climate change adaptation. Its actions are closely related to the roll-out of Flanders’ climate adaptation policy, developed in the context of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change. The project will also improve the quality of water bodies and thus contribute to implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.


Expected results:

  • 130 farms in the Province of Antwerp engaged in climate adaptation actions by the project’s end; 335 instances of replication five years after the project (including on 170 farms and feeding actions into 15-25 regional cross-sectoral plans for rainwater and 14 projects of the Flemish Water-Landschap programme);
  • More than 320 ha of agricultural land brought under sustainable water usage management by the project’s end and almost 1 800 ha five years later;
  • Reduced use of vulnerable water sources, such as mains tap water and deep groundwater, of almost 190,000 m³ annually by the project’s end, and over 320 000 m³ per year five years later;
  • Flooding risks reduced by 10% in two areas of the Province of Antwerp covering 550 ha. Reduced risks in areas covering almost 1 700 ha after the project, with LIFE ACLIMA outputs transferred to new plans for agricultural areas in Flanders; and
  • Project communications reaching 50% of farms in the Province of Antwerp and 30% of all farms in Flanders, with a total of nearly 10 800 farms reached by the project’s end and almost 18,000 five years later (75% of farms in the Province of Antwerp and 50% of those in Flanders). 2% of farmers expected to change behaviour and 5% of civilians to have a better understanding of water use in agriculture by the project’s end, rising to 10% for both five years later.


Reference: LIFE20 CCA/BE/001720
Acronym: Life ACLIMA
Start Date: 01/07/2021
End Date: 30/06/2026
Total Budget: 3,610,236 €
EU Contribution: 1,985,627 €
Project Location: Belgium, Vlaams Gewest


Coordinating Beneficiary: Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt
Legal Status: PNC
Address: Duffelsesteenweg 101, 2860, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, België - Belgique
Contact Person: Joris De Nies



  • Water scarcity and drought
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Circular economy and Value chains
  • Natural resources and ecosystems


  • agricultural method
  • Agriculture
  • water resource management
  • water reuse
  • climate adaptation strategy
  • climate resilience


  • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)


Name Type
DLP(Provincie antwerpen Dienst landbouw- en plattelandsbeleid), Belgium Participant
PCH(Proefcentrum Hoogstraten), Belgium Participant
POM(Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschapij Antwerpen (POM)), Belgium Participant
PP(Evap Proefbedrijf Pluimveehouderij), Belgium Participant
RLRL(Regionaal Landschap Rivierenland), Belgium Participant
SumAqua(Sumaqua), Belgium Participant
Aquafin(Aquafin NV), Belgium Participant
HH(APB Hooibeekhoeve), Belgium Participant
Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt Coordinator