LESSONS LEARNED IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE TREAT&USE PROJECT

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During the last months, TREAT&USE partners have been evaluating the first year work to bring some conclusions for the next season. The first step of TREAT&USE was the design, installation and technology function. The results were outstanding.

It is worth stressing the high quality of the effluent, certificated by accredited laboratories that fulfill the legal requirements established by the Royal Decree of water reutilization (RD 1620/2007) with absence of pathogens. With this effluent we have provided water and nutrients to a 3.000 square meters tomatoes field. However, this year was not exempt from difficulties, and we have to learn from our previous experience to improve the results of this new season. The tomatoes were planted in an urban soil that was not available for agriculture. The bad quality of the soil had as consequence an insufficient root development and the tomatoes had black spots due to lack of calcium.

These problems were a challenge on the design of the irrigation system of the second year, and permitted to test the capacity of the system to perform more complex irrigation schemes and verify the adaptation and capacity of this technology. New sensors have been installed to obtain better data and control of the humidity, pH and nutrient content of the soil, and we have design the new schemes of irrigation with shorter cycles of irrigation. Also we have increased the number of analysis to obtain better results.

Therefore, we have a promising year ahead when we will implement the technology and collect data leading to a complete analysis to improve and develop the technology.

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