The core aim of the project was to develop an integrated Decision Support System for environmentally optimized irrigation management by farmers and water management organizations. The ENORASIS system combines precision agriculture benefits with the optimization of water consumption targeting to:
- motivate farmers to optimize the use of water, and
- provide to water management organizations the ability to effectively forecast and manage irrigation water resources, cover irrigation demand and charge customers (farmers) on the basis of motives and incentives that exploit irrigation demand side fluctuations.
ENORASIS actually targets to optimize the use of irrigation water by:
- Developing an intelligent Decision Support System for irrigation management based upon advanced, state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies from various scientific fields:
- Meteorological Analysis Tools, assimilating advanced weather forecast models and satellite data
- Field hardware (wireless sensors networks etc.) to be deployed in the field for measurements and reporting
- Information exchange system, to be used by farmers’ and water management companies’ interaction.
- Developing a set of novel business and operational models for the ENORASIS systems as well as several market uptake scenarios.
- Providing water authorities and farmers with an intelligent, flexible, affordable and easy-to-use irrigation water pricing billing system.
The ENORASIS system was tested and demonstrated in 4 different pilot settings (1 research farm, 2 production farms and 1 water management authority) in 4 different geographical areas (Poland, Serbia, Turkey and Cyprus).
Finally, ENORASIS triggered a policy debate at European/national level on the actions towards the adoption of sustainable irrigation practices in agriculture. The project findings and results were discussed during 3 policy workshops with a view to stimulate active discussions among all stakeholders involved in irrigation practices (farmers, water management authorities, policy/decision makers, business associations, etc). The collected feedback helped to shape a set of policy recommendations that could be applied at European, national and regional level to support the adoption of sustainable irrigation concepts in agriculture.