Project:REDSIM: REmote sensing-based DSS for Sustainable drought-adapted Irrigation Management
Client:Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) of the European Commission – European Environment Agency (EEA)
Partners:Technical University of Cartagena, University of Córdoba, Research Institute of Food and Agriculture of Murcia (IMIDA), CEBAS-CSIC (Agricultural Institute of the Spanish National Research Council), Spanish Association of Water Technologies (AFRE)
Objective:To improve Irrigation Water Productivity (IWP) in water-stressed watersheds, by developing and validating Information and Advisory Systems based on remote sensing data and simplified water balance and crop models to assist growers in implementing and managing efficiently deficit irrigation (DI) techniques.

REDSIM was a pilot project carried out within the framework of the “Halting Desertification in Europe” program of the European Commission. REDSIM addressed the topics “Water savings/water efficiency measures’ and ‘alternative forms of irrigation’. The full project title is “Remote-sensing based DSS for Sustainable drought-adapted Irrigation Management” (REDSIM). The target basins were the Upper Guadiana River Basin and Segura River Basin, southeastern Spain. The objective of REDSIM was improving Irrigation Water Productivity (IWP) in these two water-stressed watersheds, by developing and validating an Information-Decision Support System (REDSIM-IS) based on remote sensing data and simplified water balance and crop models to assist growers in implementing and managing efficiently deficit irrigation (DI) techniques.

In many areas of Southern Spain and other Mediterranean Countries, there is scope for improving the productivity of presently irrigated lands, even if the cost of irrigation water increases. Increasing the productivity of water in agriculture holds a key to mitigating the impact of water scarcity due to natural (drought events) or human over-consumption. A common perception is that increasing water productivity of irrigated agriculture in arid areas is among the most efficient water policies to fight desertification and rural exodus.

In the frame of the EC-DGE programme called ‘Halting desertification in Europe’, the REDSIM proposal addresses the topics “Water savings/water efficiency measures’ and ‘alternative forms of irrigation’. More precisely, REDSIM deals with the development of management technologies and tools to improve land and water productivity in arid agricultural lands, at farm and watershed levels.

The objective of REDSIM is to improve Irrigation Water Productivity (IWP) in several water-stressed watersheds (Upper Guadiana and Segura), by developing and validating Information and Advisory Systems based on remote sensing data and simplified water balance and crop models to assist growers in implementing and managing efficiently deficit irrigation (DI) techniques.

Outcomes of REDSIM will feed into the EU Policy Review of the Strategy for Water Scarcity and Droughts, which will be integrated in a “Blueprint to safeguard European waters”, to be finalized by the end of 2012.

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