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IES - Irrigation expert simulator

LIFE11 ENV/ES/000621


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Gabriel ANZALDI
Tel: (+34) 932381400
Email: gabriel.anzaldi@eurecat.org



Project description:

Background

Scarcity of fresh water is a key issue worldwide, and the Mediterranean basin is one of the areas at risk. Irrigation is the main use for fresh water, accounting for 69% of global withdrawals and 93% of total consumption. More efficient management of irrigation in farms is therefore vitally important. Significant advances have been made in academic knowledge about the precise water requirements on individual plots, which can depend on many factors including type of crop, climate and soil properties. There is also new and improved irrigation technology to program a personalised irrigation schedule for each particular scenario, and for optimising irrigation under deficit conditions. However, there is a significant gap between these advances and the actual irrigation practices of farmers. Computer tools can be used to simulate conditions, compare benefits of different irrigation practices and calculate optimum irrigation activity. But the present generation of simulation tools is not adequate for the task. Some of them are too complex for use by farmers, or even for many technicians, whilst others are based on such simple models that the data produced can be used as no more than a reference.


Objectives

The main objective of the 'IES' project is to develop a web platform for training and supporting farmers in developing personalised irrigation schedules. This 'Irrigation Expert Simulator (IES)' aims to optimise irrigation water use by farmers and achieve the most efficient and beneficial use of fresh water. The project will develop a set of simulation and decision-support tools within a web platform that will enable farmers, technicians and experts to interact with an agronomical knowledge-base to get irrigation recommendations for case-specific scenarios. Users will have the opportunity to assess the expected outcomes of their management decisions by simulating irrigation schedules on a virtual crop. The project will test suggested models on a number of plots and will check results as achieved by a number of real users. It hopes to demonstrate improved efficiency in water use without reducing crop productivity.

Expected results

  • To provide farmers with easy-to-use software to identify optimum irrigation schedules for particular plots;
  • Improved awareness by farmers of better water-use strategies and the improved ability to cope with water shortages;
  • A 15% reduction in water consumption for irrigation practices without reducing crop productivity;
  • Improved energy efficiency of irrigation;
  • Reduced water and energy costs for farmers and therefore increased competitiveness;
  • Improved marketability of irrigation management systems for suppliers and manufacturers; and
  • The encouragement of water conservation and greater understanding of water policies by government administrations.

  • Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry - Fisheries
Water - Water saving


Keywords

irrigation‚  agricultural method‚  decision making support‚  water saving


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Fundació Privada Barcelona Digital Centre Tecnològic
Type of organisation Research institution
Description A private foundation, Fundació Privada Barcelona Digital Centre Tecnològic is a technology centre specialising in research, development and application of information and communication technologies. Among areas of particular focus are the environment, food production and green technologies.
Partners Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries Departament d'Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural

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Project reference LIFE11 ENV/ES/000621
Duration 01-OCT-2012 to 16-OCT -2015
Total budget 1,015,368.00 €
EU contribution 506,484.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Direct link to the Irrigation Expert Simulator tool

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version