The installation, located in El Ejido (Almeria), is designed under circular economy, zero discharge and energy efficiency measures.
The engineering know-how of Murcia, through OTK, a member company of AgritechMur, has been applied in an irrigation modernisation project of 2,500 hectares, designed under the approach of circular economy, zero discharge and energy efficiency.
The agricultural installation, to be developed in El Ejido, Almeria, a world agricultural reference, has been commissioned by the Sierra de Gádor User Community and employs innovative sustainable solutions adapted to the available natural resources and the needs of the irrigators.
This project meets the three selection criteria of the actions of the Transformation and Resilience Recovery Plan, i.e. environmental sustainability impact due to the use of non-conventional water, use of renewable energies and digitalisation.
The main objective is the use of non-conventional water from the upper aquifer (with high salinity) and its treatment, reducing the extraction pressure of the lower aquifer, in order to achieve a balance in the recharge cycle.
The entire water cycle, from its extraction to its arrival at the crop, seeks the maximum reduction of pollutant emissions through photovoltaic installations, which reduces them by 70 percent.
The management of this infrastructure goes a step further in the processing of information, as the entire system will be digitalised. A digital platform will be responsible for collecting, analysing and proposing decisions based on the data extracted from the different elements that make up the project.
The knowledge and analysis of this data will allow farmers and the managing body to make the right decisions to improve crop yields and optimise the water/energy binomial to the maximum.
In addition, the facility achieves zero discharge, as the crystallisation of the brine produced transforms it into raw material for reuse in different industrial uses. The transformation of waste into a recoverable by-product is in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.
European funds and Green Deal
The investment of this project, valued at 30 million euros, has been pre-selected in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) for the improvement of the efficiency and sustainability of irrigation, based on the criteria required by the European Union to be a beneficiary of the recovery funds. These economic resources represent a great opportunity to commit to a change in a more efficient and sustainable model.
The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy aimed at transforming the European Union into an equitable and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, in which there will be no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and economic growth will be decoupled from resource use. All of this represents a major advance in environmental sustainability and improved agricultural productivity.