The Mediterranean is highly dependent on irrigated agriculture, but is also among the most water-scarce regions. Mediterranean agriculture could actually save up half of the water used in irrigation, if proper measures are adopted. Yet, there is a need to study present and future water requirements of crops, improve present agricultural infrastructure and safe use of treated wastewater in agriculture. WATERMED addresses these challenges and goes one step further, delivering ‘what if’ scenario analysis built upon predictive models with the aim to provide valid recommendations to manage the whole water cycle. The platform provides open tools for the best agricultural and irrigation practices to be implemented in any part of the Mediterranean region by minimizing use of water/fertilizers.

Hands on research and social engagement are achieved through three pilots in Spain, Algeria and Turkey. Optimization of agricultural water demand, integration of sensors and geographic information systems are the main objectives in Spain, where overexploitation of aquifers accrue. The Algerian pilot, where high saline groundwater and water scarcity exist, is analyzing the potential of photovoltaic based water treatment, agrivoltaic systems in agriculture to produce electricity and reduce irrigation needs simultaneously, through shading. The pilot in Turkey focuses on suitability and feasibility of using reclaimed water in irrigation and impacts of smart agriculture to tackle over-abstraction of groundwater resources. WATERMED adopts an integrative approach taking into account water needs, optimization of water use, as well as environmental and socio-economic aspects, and governance issues. The platform provides a user-friendly digital tool to evaluate water governance through analytical framework and indicators based on the OECD principles on water governance. This could also provide an opportunity to integrate other case studies across the Mediterranean and seek joint solutions to common challenges in semi-arid and water-scarce areas.

Throughout the first half of the project period, gateways and IoT data aggregation platform were developed to support different infrastructure environments and open information sources for cost-effective data acquisition and remote operation. To ensure the integration of high-level sensors/actuators, an initial data model based on NGSI-LD agent was created allowing the combination of different data sources including, IoT, weather station, piezometers, satellite images and different communication technologies. Also, simple and responsive end-user interfaces were designed with SaaS approach to provide analytic dashboards. The first-term results, validated with outcomes of pilot studies will show actual management of water/fertilizers and the gap needed to be optimized to improve productivity. So, the next step will be to provide recommendations to take agricultural management to its maximum efficiency, contributing to sustainability.


Antonio Skarmeta ,Jesus Argente, Noelia Perez, Burcu Yacizi, Hatice Taner


Poster Session 2 (Water/Food), Room 4 - 28th September, 09:45-10:45



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