HANDYWATER - Handy tools for sustainable irrigation management in Mediterranean crops
funded within PRIMA, a new partnership for inclusive, healthy and prosperous Mediterranean societies. The PRIMA programme is an Art.185 initiative supported and funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The general objective of the HANDYWATER project is to improve water use efficiency (WUE) in Mediterranean agriculture. In this sense, the project is focused on gaining new knowledge and offering low-cost and lean solutions for enhancing the adoption of efficient irrigation innovations by small farmers, for increasing the environmental and economic sustainability of two different crop productions models, both highly water demanding and widely cultivated in the Mediterranean area, such as citrus (as intensive system) and olive (as rainfed system).
This general objective requires specific goals:
i) To identify and boost low-cost crop monitoring technologies;
ii) To redesign new water-saving solutions for improving irrigation efficiency and economic benefits of Mediterranean crops;
iii) To optimise the management of the crop at farm scale;
iv) To develop an easy-to-use decision support tool for enhancing irrigation efficiency at farm scale;
v) to test and evaluate the DST in different scenarios;
vi) to quantify socio-economic and environmental benefits of the proposed irrigation practices; and
vii) to overcome barriers in the adoption of innovative irrigation technologies and practices.
All these objectives will be achieved by conveying existing and innovative irrigation technologies (micro-irrigation, slow rate drippers, sub-surface systems) and practices (regulated deficit irrigation, supplemental irrigation, mulching), resulting from a close cooperation and co-learning strategy between the local stakeholders and the project consortium, into the development of a friendly-user DST and a mobile/PC application easy-to-use based on the “traffic light” recommendation system, for offering a cluster of smart and cheap solutions oriented to water and energy savings.