Projet AWARE – Reducing pesticide-related water pollution by improving crop protection practices : the use of embedded ICT technologies

Projet terminé …

Projet européen Life-Environment LIFE05 ENV/F/000058à

Date de démarrage / date de fin : 01-DEC-2005 to 28-FEB -2009

Contacts ITAP impliqués :  Bernadette Ruelle  (Project Manager) 

Web du projet :

Distinction  : Best Life-Environment Project 2010



The 2000/60/EC Water Framework Directive states that aquatic environments throughout the EU will have to achieve good ecological status by 2015. Pesticides are one of the main sources of water pollution and aquatic environment degradation. At present, no affordable or simple means exists to trace pesticide application by farmers. GPS geo-referenced systems are found on the market but they are mainly focused on applications for machines such as harvesters or seeders for large-scale farming. Furthermore, current services linked to these technologies are generally limited to the delivering of business related results.


The project would use embedded ICT technologies to develop a methodology for reducing the amount of pesticides introduced into the environment. Geo-referenced data-recorders would be embedded on sprayers to allow a monitoring of real-time pesticide use. The project would also create collective filling stations for sprayers that fulfill environmental standards and establish rinsing tanks on old sprayers. The project, which would concern itself with vine growers, aimed to extend the results to other contexts by modeling pesticide transfer. This would be assessed by implementing the system in different contexts in the EU, namely in Italy and Spain. The experience would ultimately be disseminated among the stakeholders and the public.


The AWARE project successfully developed a prototype embedded pesticide geo-referenced data recorder for tractors and sprayers used by wine growers. This monitoring device records precisely the amount and type of chemical used during the spraying season. The project also constructed an environmentally friendly pesticide filling station and fitted all tractors used with rinsing tanks.

The data recorder and data-processing software were tested on 21 French- and Spanish-owned sprayers. It is estimated that the device could reduce pesticide use by 50% at the early vegetation stage and 30% with grown vegetation, allowing a 30% reduction in pesticide lost on the ground.

Although the monitoring device is cheaper than currently available commercial alternatives, it was still considered too expensive by the farmers trialing the technology. The Spanish farmers involved in the trials also expressed an important interest in the analytical tools developed by the project.

LIFE AWARE successfully adapted the MHYDAS pollution transfer model to the Neffiés catchment area. The model will be used by extension services and stakeholders to simulate and analyse the impact of changes in spraying practices on the contamination of surface water in France and Europe.

The project’s dissemination activities included the presentation of the project to members of the Neffiés co-operative (125 members, 450 ha of vineyards) and the publication of 1 500 copies of a guide to purchasing the least polluting sprayer.

A company called TIXAD has been set up to develop a cheaper (c. EUR 1 000) commercially viable version of the device after LIFE.

Other elements of the after-LIFE communication plan include: the establishment of a project (TICSAD) – part funded by the French Ministry of Agriculture – that will develop the use of ICT for sustainable agriculture; adaptation of the data recorder for the fight against mosquitoes; use of the data gathered by the device for further scientific research (for instance using GIS to map the drift of sprayed chemicals) and; further communications activities by project partners.

Further information on the project can be found in the project’s layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see « Read more » section).



agricultural method‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  pollution control‚  pest control‚

  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60/EC – « Framework for Community action in the field of water policy » (23.10.00)


TYPE OF ORGANISATION Research institutions
DESCRIPTION Cemagref is a French public institute focusing on sustainable development in non-urban areas. It contributes to the management of land and water systems, the prevention of associated risks and the development of sustainable economic activities.
PARTNERS Cemagref UMR ITAP, France Montpellier-SupAgro, France INRA UMR LISAH, France Conseil Général de l’Hérault (CG 34), France Chambre d’agriculture de l’Hérault (CA 34), France VOE Développement, France IRTA, Spain C.I.S.A., Italy E.RE.CA., France


DURATION 01-DEC-2005 to 28-FEB -2009
TOTAL BUDGET 1,276,317.00 €
EU CONTRIBUTION 628,753.00 €
PROJECT LOCATION Cataluña,Languedoc-Roussillon,Emilia-Romagna


FILE Layman report (ES)
FILE Layman report (IT)
FILE After-LIFE Communication Plan (FR)
FILE Layman report (FR)
PUBLICATION Layman report (EN)