Integration of Tools for Efficient Water and Energy Use in Irrigation

Integration of Tools for Efficient Water and Energy Use in Irrigation

Demonstration Site description

A set of tools and models have been developed to apply mainly in areas with scarcity and high prices of water due to energy costs, that can be grouped into:

a) Tools and models for saving water and selecting the proper crop pattern at the farm level, with the aim of optimizing economic water productivity and minimizing the environmental impact.

b) Tools and models for improving irrigation infrastructure design and management as a whole, based on water and energy savings irrigation networks, b-3) optimization of design, sizing and regulation of pumping systems.

c) Actions to reduce energy consumption and/or cost such as the use of benchmarking techniques, and energy audits.

Transversal activities such as: 1) to promote the usage and usefulness of Irrigation Advisory Services (IAS) to transfer and share real-time information with farmers; 2) to create a network of leaders among farmers and technicians who can act as examples for farmers; 3) to use web-based GIS platforms for information and technology transfer to end users in a feedback process.

Results obtained so far

Water and energy engineering (

• Web-GIS tools MAWE to monitor and manage large-scale water distribution networks
• Web-GIS tools SIGREG to manage irrigable areas
• Web-GIS tools AS, MAEEB, and DOS to optimize the design, sizing and regulation of pumping systems • PRESUD, DOP, DEPIRE and DC-WAT tools to optimally design and sizing irrigation systems
• Water and energy analysis of irrigable areas (Benchmarking techniques)

Crop Science

• Very high resolution remote sensing (VHRRS) to for water and energy saving
• Crop phenology analysis of the main crops and determination of accurate actual ET
• MOPECO model to determine optimal cropping pattern, considering optimized regulated deficit irrigation and crop, water, environmental, and socio-economic constrains
• Irrigation Advisory Service (IAS) of Castilla-La Mancha

Success factors

Direct contact with farmers and use of friendly tools and models that have been set up for technicians and farmers to improve water and energy use in irrigation.

Performance indicators

Permanent user’s feedback through the Web-GIS platform to evaluate effectiveness and use of integrated tools and models.

Repeatability & Applicability

The integrated tools and models can be transferred and applied in pressurized irrigation systems anywhere. 

Further references

Ballesteros R, Ortega JF, Hernandez D, Moreno MA (2014). Applications of georeferenced high-resolution images obtained with unmanned aerial vehicles. Part II: Application to maize and onion crops of a semi-arid region in Spain. Precision Agriculture. DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11119-014-9357-6

Carrión F, Tarjuelo JM, Moreno MA.2013. Low-cost microirrigation system supplied by groundwater: An application to pepper and vineyard crops in Spain. Agricultural Water Management. 127, 107-118.

Domínguez A., de Juan J.A., Tarjuelo J.M., Martínez R.S., Martínez-Romero A. 2012. Determination of optimal regulated deficit irrigation strategies for maize in a semi-arid environment. Agricultural Water Management. 110, 67-77 


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