Assessing telemetry and remote control systems for water users associations in Spain
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AuthorPlayan, Enrique; Salvador, Raquel; Bonet, Luis; Camacho, Emilio; Intrigliolo, Diego S.; Moreno, Miguel A.; Rodriguez-Diaz, Juan A.; Tarjuelo, Jose M.; Madurga, Cristina; Zazo, Teresa; Sánchez-de-Ribera, Alejandro; Cervantes, Alfonso; Zapata, Nery
Cita bibliográficaPlayan, E.; Salvador, R.; Bonet, L.; Camacho, E.; Intrigliolo, D. S.; Moreno, M. A.; Rodriguez-Diaz, J. A.; Tarjuelo, J. M.; Madurga, C.; Zazo, T.; Sánchez-de-Ribera, A.; Cervantes, A.; Zapata, N. (2018). Assessing telemetry and remote control systems for water users associations in spain. Agricultural Water Management, 202, 89-98.
A decades-long policy for irrigation Telemetry and Remote Control (TM/RC) systems in Spain has led to installations for approximately 260 Water Users Associations (WUAs), with a total estimated area of 1.0 M ha of agricultural land. This is believed to be the largest deployment of such technologies in the world. These systems have been installed in financial cooperation between public administrations and WUAs. This paper set out to characterize these systems, assess the causes for their individual success or failure, consider their future evolution and support policy updates. A survey with 110 questions was addressed to 84 WUAs distributed throughout the country. Further, an interview with four questions was addressed to 24 selected stakeholders intervening in irrigation TM/RC projects: from policy makers to farmers. The results provide a detailed overview of these systems in Spain, characterizing the WUAs in which they are installed, their technological traits, their maintenance, the problems they face in their daily operation, their current use, the factors limiting wider use, and the willingness of the WUAs to continue bearing the costs to use TM/RC features in the future. A large majority of TM/RC systems are regularly used to improve WUA water and energy management, and receive proper maintenance. However, in 15% of WUAs, farmers are not satisfied with the TM/RC system, and in 19% of the WUAs the TM/RC system cannot operate half of the hydraulic valves connected to them. We found that early technology applications failed more than recent applications, evidencing a process of technological maturity. The standardization of TM/RC systems, adaptation of the system to WUA specificities, training of WUA personnel, and a sufficiently long guarantee period stood as critical variables for success in the implementation of these technologies.