Climate smart irrigation tool (IRRICLIME)
IRRICLIME will be a web mapping application providing high-resolution, spatially distributed agro-meteorological indices such as water budget variables (hydro-climatic balance BIC, Soil Water Content SWC, evapotranspiration, etc).
From Design to deployment users have driven the development. 360 ° feedbacks collected through the MUF provided the framework on the service more general expectations. Romagna Land reclamation Authority was designed as the pilot user of the service. The service was applied and validated on Castiglione irrigation district. Authority’s Technicians actively contributed through in person and web hosted meetings, guiding service development with specific technical and functional requirements all through the service creations phases. The beta version counted on the support of two highly recognized scientific partners: Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) and Regional Environmental Agency of Emilia Romagna (ARPAE) that provided it’s CRITERIA 1D crop specific soil water budget model to be embedded in the service.
A web cloud-based service tailored for providing seasonal and long-term irrigation demand forecast . IRRICLIME estimates if and to what extent water irrigation infrastructure is adequate under a changing climate. IRRICLIME is a two components web tool: i) a spatially and temporally explicit evaluation tool (at irrigation district level) to evaluate if the irrigation infrastructure can sustain the demand. This module shows how water demand will change in different scenarios; ii) a seasonal forecasts module, for short-term planning and management purposes. This component can influence farming practices and water allocation depending on the user.
The business model is a pay-per-use, with access through a subscription-based mechanism (based on annual or monthly fees). The service can exploit partnerships to build a crowd-sourced and jointly-created platform with other players, splitting market segments accordingly, or be proposed as addon to existing synergic platforms of services for agriculture already on the market.
IRRICLIME is applicable to a wide range of users: irrigation managers and farmers in the first stage, and water authorities in a later one. This adaptability is one of the major strengths of the service. This Software as a Service is able to map and plot seasonal forecast and climate projection on irrigation demand and support economic risk reduction and selection of best climate mitigation measures in agriculture. The seasonal prediction of water irrigation demand is valuable information to reduce crop harvesting losses, manage in a sustainable manner the available water resources and drive the agricultural practices towards sustainability and climate resilience. Application have shown potential value of several thousand €/ha of savings when used for example to choose a proper irrigation technology to face CC conditions.
The service is valued driven. The arena of irrigation forecast requires up to date and viable solutions and IRRICLIME represents one of them. The main added value for the client is related to water availability, scarcity and use, but also to the adequacy of the infrastructure given potential new needs. Customization of the interactive web service over user specific areas and cultures of interest, and annual maintenance are the main activities worth paying for.
Developers team (Gecosistema)
S. Bagli, P. Mazzoli, V. Luzzi, D. Broccoli