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Irrigation‑assessment department of Albacete

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Authors: J.F. Ortega, J.M. Tarjuelo, J.A. de Juan, H. López, D. Fernández
Issue: 93V-3 (183-202)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: water management, irrigation scheduling, uniformity, efficiency, economic optimization

Water is a scarce resource whose use is subject to a large quantity of determining factors (socials, economics, politics, techniques, ecologiques, etc.). With the aim of achieving an efficient and sustainable use of this resource, a Servicio de Asesoramiento de Riegos (SAR) was created ten years ago, as a result of an agreement between the Instituto Técnico Agronómico Provincial de Albacete (ITAP) and the Castilla‑La Mancha University. The service has been developed in order to reach its current structure, and permits to offer to the Albacete's irrigation farming an essential service. This article tries to highlight the main features of the SAR paying special attention to its problems, in addition to the coming future of SAR.
The experience of this Service (structure, collaboration with other institutions, work pattern, etc.) may result interesting for the development of similar assessment departments, and maybe a reference in relation to the management of the irrigation water too.
The SAR plays a major role in the irrigated lands of Albacete by transferring technique and scientific information to farmers. SAR has high financial requirements. Its capacity and trajectory must be used to generate a global service for the agriculture in the region. This is a long‑term objective. In the near future SAR must include several services, such as the assessment for orchards, extend specific services, which are demanded by farmers (irrigation scheduling control, disseminating information, etc.).

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