ArtWET - Mitigation of agricultural nonpoint-source pesticide pollution and phytoremediation in artificial wetland ecosystems



(LIFE-Environment project ENV/F/000133)




Project description

The four year project ArtWET(Mitigation of agricultural nonpoint-source pesticide pollution and phytoremediation in artificial wetland ecosystems) under the contribution of the LIFE- Environement financial instrument (referece LIFE 06 ENV/F/000133) was launched in October 2006.
The bioattenuation observed in artificial wetlands suggests the existence of a microflora and vegetation capable to degrade pesticides. Nevertheless concentrations in water and sediment are still observed. This reveales a suboptimal performance regarding the mitigation of agrochemical pollution through artificial wetland systems and necessitates further investigations as well as the development of effective and realizable methods. There is little known about vegetated treatment systems, but they are considered to be of high economical and ecological interest. ArtWET focuses on research of the basic principles and the development of technological knowledge.
The main aim of this interdisciplinary project is the improvement of methods and knowledge derived from former research concerning the mitigation capabilities of vegetated ditches, detention ponds, natural and constructed wetlands in agricultural area and forest. The development of measures, which are not expensive in construction and maintainance is a sound basis for an Europe-wide implementation. Finally the dissemination and promotion of the knowledge is an important componend of the project. Professionals of agriculture, technicians, stakeholders and local governments will be the target audience.
The project is coordinated by the Ecole Nationale du Genie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement de Strasbourg (ENGEES). The project partners in France, Italy and Germany are Cemagref (Antony, France), University of Haute Alsace (Colmar, France), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Piacenza, Italy), University Albert Ludwigs (Freiburg, Germany), University of Koblenz-Landau (Landau, Germany), Chamber of Agriculture of Indre & Loire (Chambray-lès-Tours, France), Consultency firm BURGEAP (Strasbourg, France) and Verbandsgemeinde (Landau-Land)
The project is financed with 50 % (3 878 621 €) by the European commission and is co-financed by five French partners: BASF Agro SAS, the regional council of Haut Rhin, the regional council of Alsace, the regional council of Indre et Loire and the Agency of water Loire Bretagne.

Main project objectives

  • mitigation of agricultural nonpoint-source pesticide pollution and phytoremediation in artificial wetland ecosystems
  • testing of new techniques like vegetated ditches, natural or constructed wetlands and forest plots at demonstration and experimental sites
  • technical guidance to answer the questions, where, when and how to mitigate the risks of pesticide pollution
  • broad establishment of low cost vegetated treatment systems

Financial support

European Union LIFE Environment project


2006 to 2009

Project partners

  • Ecole Nationale du Genie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg (ENGEES) Coordinator
  • Public French research institute (CEMAGREF)
  • University of Haute-Alsace (UHA)
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (UF)
  • Chamber of Agriculture Indre-et-Loire (CA37)
  • French consulting firm – (BURGEAP)
  • DILGER German engineering company