We are a supra-regional task force focused on improving the efficiency of energy and water use in modernised fruit irrigation
GOINNOWATER project is supra-regional, as its members belong to three spanish autonomous communities:
• Región of Murcia: Moval Agroingeniería
• Region of Valencia: CR Foia del Pou, Miguel Hernández University (Elche), Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and Agri-food cooperatives of the Region of Valencia
• Andalusia: University of Almeria
All three regions have large areas of irrigated land and have serious water shortages, either temporary or structural, which means that management of irrigation water use must be improved to increase irrigation efficiency and to preserve both crops and the landscape.
Over the last two decades, a great effort has been made in Spain in infrastructures, Irrigation systems have been modernised and the management capacity of irrigation water has been improved. A large part of the losses in transport and distribution have been reduced or eliminated. Therefore, the next step in improving the efficiency of irrigation water use has to be achieved by increasing the efficiency of irrigation on the plot, with optimised programming, which avoids losses due to percolation and evaporation from the soil surface.
The most recent trends in irrigation modernisation have focused on irrigation management, with the aim of improving irrigation programming through the use of agri-meteorological data and computer programmes to calculate the water balance, supported by soil moisture sensors and satellite data. However, systematic measures to ensure that the actions were adequate and that they generate savings that justify them are not usual.
NEEDS TO BE COVERED
In daily practice, irrigation water management depends on the Communities of Irrigators and the commercialisation of the product is carried out through cooperatives, Agrarian Transformation Societies or auctions. The necessity to share data between both parties to ensure traceability and to keep to quality certification protocols (BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., IFS Food, Naturane...) is an exceptional chance to obtain valuable information for the continuous improvement of irrigation management, by crossing data on water and energy consumption of the Communities of Irrigators with data on production and economic results of the cooperatives.
However, at this moment, the exchange of data between commercialisation companies and the Communities of Irrigators does not take place, so the fundamental information that would allow the evaluation of the management of irrigation and its results is lost.
GOINNOWATER proposes to meet this need by monitoring a series of management indicators, systematically collected from the data of the Communities of Irrigators and cooperatives, over time and at plot level, which will allow the evaluation and therefore the optimisation of irrigation management and irrigation production in general.
GOINNOWATER intends to apply a participatory methodology to establish the needs, interests and preferences of irrigators and fruit producers, that will serve to configure a computer application to measure, compare and continuously improve the efficiency of water and energy use at plot level. Participatory co-creation consists of the involvement of all related actors, through inclusive participatory methodologies, to jointly offer answers to existing problems.
I the project, the establishment of management indicators and benchmarking are of great importance, as procedures for the evaluation of process performance. EIP-Agri focus group "Benchmarking of Farm Productivity and Sustainability Performance" explicitly captures the great potential of sharing data between different farmers to compare their performance with each other, learn from others and act accordingly to improve farm performance and sustainability.