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MAR2PROTECT, through its partner Centro Interdisciplinar De Investigacao Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR), and with the collaboration of CMIA de Viana do Castelo as a facilitator, held a successful workshop on February 21 to launch the project’s LivingLab in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, where the Lima River estuary is located.

Members of different sectors such as the public sector, academia, industry, and civil society attended the day. Using a co-creative approach, the stakeholders helped to identify the best ways for local societal engagement, detect possible challenges in the case study, raise community awareness prevent water contamination and provided feedback on the effectiveness and next steps.

This LivingLab is the first to be launched of the two located in Portugal. In total, there are seven demo-sites located across Africa and Europe; South Africa, Tunisia, Netherlands, Italy and Spain are each home to one demo-site, while Portugal is home to two. These sites have been carefully chosen for their success in previous projects as well as the climatic conditions, water sources, types of pollution, Managed Aquifer Recharge schemes and socio-political contexts.

MAR2PROTECT seeks to save the world’s groundwater from contamination through an innovative and holistic approach.  This research project brings together two main strategies, the M-AI-R tool and LivingLabs, to create new approaches for safeguarding groundwater as it becomes more vulnerable in the face of climate change.

The project kicked off in December 2022 and will run for four years. It is funded by the Horizon Europe programme with a total cost of €4.143.681,25. MAR2PROTECT will usher in a new generation of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) that engages stakeholders and enhances both groundwater quality and quantity.