Water consumption in agriculture is one of the main issues of concern worldwide. The continuous increase in population, the improvement in the quality of life in emerging countries and changes in food consumption, among other factors, is generating a growing general awareness of water consumption and its optimization.  
 
However, irrigation has an impact on many aspects of society and the environment, and therefore, it must be efficient and technician since it is one of the main agents in the change of the agri-food paradigm. Below, we highlight the positive aspects of irrigation in the current model.
 

Creation of landscape diversity

It is a reality that irrigation shapes the territory and creates new landscapes. Irrigation landscape elements such as irrigation ditches or canals are characteristic elements that give life to the landscape and help to direct water to our areas of interest. Hydraulic structures are highly valued by society since, depending on the structure, they create a greater or lesser impact on landscape diversity.


Safe food production

Irrigation plays a key role in addressing food security challenges, both in Spain and in the rest of the world. The increase in food production directly influences the expansion of irrigated areas and the availability of water, both in space and time.
 
In addition, another important issue to be addressed is climate change, since it will directly affect the ratio of future agricultural production, impacting global food security and forcing us to produce more food with fewer resources, or in a more efficient manner. 
 

Major influencer of regional socio-economic development

Irrigation contributes to social cohesion and stability; it is responsible for boosting a territory and is, therefore, one of the basic pillars of rural and regional development.

It is also an essential element for the economy of the regions, for the quality of life or the valorization of products. It has an impact on income and is the main contributor to maintaining social stability.
 
Furthermore, it becomes an incentive for the population to settle in rural areas, favouring the development of its economic sectors. In short, it is responsible for maintaining the services and quality of life of farmers and farmworkers.
 

Generation of ecosystem services

Besides being a great benefit for rural development, it also generates important ecosystem services favourable for both nature and people. Providing benefits to society such as improving the landscape and biodiversity, as well as maintaining rural life among other elements of particular importance in traditional farming systems.
 

Contribution to climate change

The effects of climate change on irrigation will grow exponentially since the decrease in rainfall will cause a reduction in the availability of water resources. Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are beginning to be seen in the efficiency of irrigation processes through new tools and modernization processes in irrigable areas.
 
In Spain we have large areas of fruit trees that absorb a significant volume of CO2, compared to dry land, contributing to the mitigation of the greenhouse effect.
This is another added factor that makes irrigation important in the fight against climate change.
 

Hydraulic heritage, the great vector of energy sustainability

Energy management in our country is closely linked to hydraulic works and irrigation. The fundamental reason for this association is the need for regulating reservoirs and pumping stations to be able to store energy and manage the supply and demand of electricity, being an essential sector towards the energy transition.
 

Intelligent irrigation systems

The modernization of transport and distribution infrastructures through new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and Big Data analysis have been key to the implementation of smart irrigation systems, ensuring the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and feeding the population.
 
New technologies have made it possible to strike a balance between sustainable intensification of food production and adaptation to climate change.

 

DAGA, leaders in innovative solutions

With more than 60 years of experience, DAGA works to offer innovative solutions committed to caring for the environment. Digitalization is a key favour to make the water sector more sustainable and reduce the impact on our planet.
 
If you want more information about our commitment to the environment, we encourage you to visit our blog.
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