Europeans consume more fruit and vegetables than they produce as climate limits the production of a range of fruit and vegetables, which are grown in more temperate locations. Intensive agriculture under plastic has allowed converting apparently unproductive lands with such mild climate conditions into modern agriculture exploitations that can source for the population food requirements. Worldwide there were 800,000 hectares covered by film greenhouses in 2009. Europe covers at present 20% of the global film greenhouse area, 160,000 Has.
Unfortunately, expansion of land under intensive cultivation damages natural habitats and threatens biodiversity while increase water use is making it a fragile and scarce resource.
At the same time, overfishing is depleting wild seafood. Aquaculture became the best alternative to fishery overharvesting. This kind of farming allows for a consistent harvest of seafood under controlled conditions. Aquaculture typically is practiced in coastal waters or on land whenever regular crops are not being raised. Scientists are worried about some of the disrupting consequences of aquaculture on local environments. One of the main environmental concerns in this sector is the high amount of wastewater that intensive aquaculture industry produces. Aquaculture is a rapidly expanding industry that requires quantities of water in the order of 200–600 m3/kg per ﬁsh produced.
CARBGROWTH project aims to maximise European greenhouse horticulture production, optimising water resources by using low quality water from wells and aquaculture for irrigation purposes and ensure that final products commit with European quality standards.