Cartagena countryside is transformed thanks to the Tajo-Segura water transfer
12.07.2018

Cartagena countryside is transformed thanks to the Tajo-Segura water transfer

The Irrigators Community is one of Europe’s largest and most technically advanced

The Cartagena Countryside Irrigators Community, founded in 1952, has one of the most profitable irrigation agricultures at a regional and national level and is also one of Europe’s largest and most technically advanced communities.

Between 1996 and 2010 it underwent an intense modernisation process which involved the automatisation of control and measurement elements, the installation of measurement elements in reservoirs and water mains, the clustering of pumping stations, the increase of storage capacity and the distribution network and the integration of ICTs into the community’s management system. Currently, every member of the community can monitor water closely and manage irrigation on their mobiles.

The Leaders visited the Irrigators Community headquarters to learn about the organisation and its performance, and were welcomed by the Chairman, Manuel Martínez; Mariano Soto, Secretary General, and Pablo del Amor, Head of ICT.

During the presentation, the Leaders learned about the importance of the Tajo-Segura water transfer for the region of Murcia, considered to be “Europe’s vegetable garden,” as well as the farmers’ efforts to improve water use. “The application of technology has become a habit for the irrigators, and their purpose is to maximise production and quality while reducing water use. They have managed to obtain 8 kg per cubic metre of water, while traditional crops only manage 3 kg,” said the Community managers.

Vegetables (59%) and citrus fruits (30%) are the main produce of the region, which uses highly technical methods. Mechanisation, fertilisers, species and seed selection, greenhouse crops and drip irrigation are some of the strategies used in the area.

As well as the Tajo-Segura water transfer, the Community’s water resources come from the Segura basin, the reuse of water and the El Mojón desalination plant, where water is sourced from the drainage of the irrigable area, avoiding the pollution of the Mar Menor. The area’s underground waters are too salty and would need to be desalinated to be used, which is why “they are never the first option.”

The Leaders wanted to learn about several aspects of the Irrigators Community daily operations: from the monthly planning of water transfers to the billing of the service and the control and monitoring tools.

Lastly, the Leaders took a guided tour of the city of Cartagena, visiting its landmark buildings and its impressive Roman theatre.

Report: 6th Indian Leaders Programme 2018

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