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  • AXARQUÍA SOSTENIBLE: Implementation of an innovative system for water reclamation and fertigation

AXARQUÍA SOSTENIBLE: Implementation of an innovative system for water reclamation and fertigation

USE OF RECLAIMED WATER AND A FERTIRRIGATION MANAGEMENT TOOL FOR KEY CROPS IN THE AXARQUÍA REGION

Comprehensive management of water resources and reduction of fertilizer consumption

Study of the impact of reclaimed water on crops

Optimization of energy consumption in the treatment and reclamation process

La Axarquía is a region with a deep-rooted agricultural tradition in the province of Malaga. Agriculture is a key activity for the local economy and job creation, but at the same time it is highly dependent on the weather. La Viñuela reservoir, the largest in the province and the main source of water for farmers in the area, is currently at 9.7% of its capacity. Low rainfall in recent years is jeopardizing the sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Current consumption trends show that there will not be enough water to meet the growing demand without a drastic change in the way this limited resource is used, managed and distributed. There are different strategies to achieve a more efficient use of water in the agricultural sector, such as optimizing irrigation systems to avoid unnecessary contributions to crops, avoiding losses in pipes or using alternative sources such as reclaimed water. All these measures are necessary and must be used together.

The presence of nutrients in the reclaimed water is another advantage for crop management, since it allows reducing the amount of fertilizers needed to obtain optimal yields. However, if the contribution of nutrients is greater than that required by the crop, it can harm the growth of the plant and produce an excessive accumulation of nutrients in the soil with negative effects on aquifers and surface waters, due to the leaching of these with the infiltration and runoff water.

Axarquía Sostenible operational group focuses on the use of reclaimed water, since it is a resource with enormous potential that is being wasted and that allows the reuse of water and nutrients, thus reducing the consumption of fertilizers.

The proposed solution will be a water reclamation system that guarantees high water quality in accordance with the legal requirements for its reuse in agriculture (RD1620/2007 and EU Regulation 2020/741), and that will be integrated with an adapted irrigation system. for the use of reclaimed water and will have software for the management of nutrients contained in reclaimed water.

Axarquía Sostenible will also carry out agronomic and ecophysiological studies to promote better irrigation management according to the needs of the crops at different times of the year.

OBJECTIVES

  • Optimize the energy consumption of the treatment and regeneration process to make the use of reclaimed water economically viable.
  • Implement precision irrigation with reclaimed water by defining irrigation patterns according to the specific needs of each crop.
  • Develop an automated system for the introduction of nutrients that prevents soil and groundwater contamination and optimizes the use of fertilizers.
  • Develop a software application for mobile devices to manage fertigation by calculating the dosage of fertilizers.
  • Expand the number of fruit and vegetable crops and scenarios in which the innovative system is tested, including other crops besides mango and avocado (eg passion fruit).
  • Demonstrate the economic efficiency of the use of technology in real-scale plantations.
  • Train farmers, irrigators and public administrations in the management of fertigation with reclaimed water.
  • Organize dissemination and awareness activities to promote the use of reclaimed water.

consorTIUM

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Status: Active

Funding programme: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (FEADER)

Contract nº: GOPG-MA-20-0002

Duration: 1st March 2023 – 28th February 2025 (24 months)

Budget: € 254.993,22€ (EU funding: € 254.993,22)

Contact person: Antonia Lorenzo (alorenzo@bioazul.com)