Reducing the energy demand in irrigation water supply systems. Experiences from southern Europe
González Perea, R.
Fernández García, I.
Rodríguez-Díaz, Juan Antonio
Montesinos Barrios, Pilar
Editor/esInternational Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
Pressurized irrigation networks
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In recent years, many modernization processes have been undertaken in irrigation districts with a view to improving water use efficiency. In southern Spain, many irrigation districts have either been modernized or are currently being upgraded. However, as part of the modernization process some unexpected side effects have been observed. This paper analyzes the relative advantages and limitations of modernization based on field data collected in a typical Andalusian irrigation district. Although the amount of water diverted for irrigation to farms has been considerably reduced, consumptive use has increased. The costs for operation and system maintenance have dramatically risen (400%), as the energy for pumping water is much higher now compared to the gravity fed systems used previously. Then a regional analysis of the relationship between energy requirements and irrigation water applied in ten irrigation districts, in Southern Spain, has been carried out. Results show that 1000 kWh ha–1 is the energy required to apply an average depth of 2590 m3 ha-1. Finally, energy saving options are identified and discussed.