Reclaimed Water Use at Farm and Irrigation District in Miraflores (Spain)
Demonstration Site description
Area of 1,329 ha cultivated with pear (45%), peach (32%), apricot (12%), olive (5%), plum (3%), vineyard (2%) and almond (1%). Water need is covered by 3.851 million m3/yr pumped up from underground water sources and 1.5 million m3/yr of reclaimed water from Jumilla Waste-Water-Treatment-Plant. In this demo-site area of Miraflores, a continuous demonstration of research, development and technological innovation on wastewater reuse is promoted. Different irrigation strategies, such as regulated deficit irrigation and precision irrigation attending leaf stem water potential and gas exchange rates, are applied. At the end of each irrigation season some gravimetric soil samples are taken at different depths to determine the accumulation of salts. Besides, the agronomic quality of treated wastewater effluent from the sewage treatment plant is registered by the use of a multi-parametric probe at the entrance of treated wastewater to the orchard to continuously measure Ta, pH, electric conductivity, dissolved oxygen, redox, turbidity and organic matter. These values compared with the minimum quality standards help deciding whether it is wealth and sustainable to use this water for irrigation or not. At the same time, the macronutrient (NPK) levels available from treated wastewater effluent are measured to accordingly adjust the ongoing fertilizers program. The goal is to optimize nutrient supply to the crop and achieve greater efficiency and thereby avoid excessive application of fertilizers causing leaching and/or negative effects on crop growth and the surrounding environment.
Results obtained so far
Stimulation of a waste-water treated reuse among end users. Fast and wide dissemination of reclaimed water irrigation technologies, boosting adoption of the more efficient best management practices.
Involvement of end users in the application of sustainable irrigation practices by training and demonstration of the best management reclaimed water use. To promote the safe and efficient use of treated waste water in fruit crop production. Involvement of private companies and water authorities in the development and application of new irrigation systems and devices.
Since 2010 more than 800 end users (mainly farmers from Miraflores irrigation district) have attended workshops, courses and open days in order to receive training performances related to the use of treated wastewater for irrigation. These training performances are also open to technicians, students and water authorities. A book entitled “Estudio de la viabilidad de uso de las aguas regeneradas procedentes de la EDAR de Jumilla en la Comunidad de Regantes Miraflores” has been published in 2012.
Repeatability & Applicability
Similar exhibition on wastewater irrigation technologies can be set up in other places, but the performance on this type of exhibition is not very easy because it is necessary to involve water authorities (related to WWTP management), end users (farmers’ cooperative) and research/technological supports. Besides the reclaimed water use for fruit crop productions needs a big area of exhibition. In fact, we do not know other demo-site similar to this one in Europe.
Nicolas E., Pedrero F., Alarcón J.J., Mounzer O., Martínez V., Nortes P., Alcón F., Egea G., de Miguel M.D.
Estudio de la viabilidad de uso de las aguas regeneradas procedentes de la EDAR de Jumilla en la Comunidad de Regantes Miraflores.
Editor: CEBAS-CSIC; ETSIA-Cartagena
Cartagena (Spain), 2012.