WATERMED4.0 – Smart technologies to improve quality and safety of Mediterranean agriculture

Duration: June 2019 - May 2022
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors: PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) programme supported under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Project Partners: University of Murcia; Central Board of Users of Vinalopó Basin, L'Alacantí and  Water Consortium of Low Marina; Spanish National Research Agency CEBAS –CSIC; University of Oran1, Ahmed Ben Bella. LAPECI laboratory; University of Djilali Bounaama Khemis Miliana. Research laboratory of agricultural production and sustainable development of natural resources; Arvum Agriculture & Technological Services S.L.; Turkish Water Institute SUEN



Project Focus:
WATERMED4.0 - Underside of an APV array
© Fraunhofer ISE
Underside of an APV array installed with bifacial modules.

WATERMED4.0 is aimed at the efficient use and management of conventional and non-conventional water resources through smart technologies applied to improve the quality and safety of Mediterranean agriculture in semi-arid areas. Under the fourth objective of the project is the analysis of the potential of agrophotovoltaic applications (APV) with respect to a reduction of irrigation needs through shadowing, PV-based water treatment of low quality water (LQW) to avoid or mitigate soil salinization and research to analyze how water pumps, sensors, water treatment or other electrical devices of the water system can use the electricity produced by the PV layer.

WATERMED 4.0 main vision is to develop and to apply an integrated decision support system based on the Internet of Things, for managing the whole water cycle in agriculture, monitoring water resources (conventional and non -conventional) and water demands including the measure of economic, energy, social and governance factors that influence the water use efficiency in Mediterranean agricultural production areas.

WATERMED will design and develop an IoT-based platform based on a layered architecture that considers several types of services to ensure its replication and adaptability to different crops and locations. Entirely replicable services deal with IoT services, virtual entities and storage services, and data analytics and machine learning, respectively. Fully customizable services deal with water data management issues that specialize generic analytic services into particular techniques for different types of irrigation and water distribution. Those services may require being customized whenever a new pilot is designed, developed and deployed. Finally, application specific services require higher development effort since they serve particular farms. The architecture may be implemented in a range of deployment configurations involving the use of smart algorithms and analytics in the cloud, fog-based smart decisions located on the farm premises and possibly mobile fog.

The overall approach of this proposal is increasing the efficiency in the management of conventional and non-conventional water resources applied to agriculture from an integral perspective. The new perspective comes from the assumption that technology development, societal engagement, governance and transferring knowledge will be enhanced by the new possibilities of digitalization through an open platform, in a form that best fits the needs of end-users and the associated supply chain, from high waters (water management authorities, water planning organizations, wastewater treatment plants, technology SME’s) to the plot (irrigation communities, farmers and technology SME’s).  The expected impacts will be easily monitored all along the water cycle for agriculture, real-time controlled by the Internet of Things and Services, helping to increase quantity and quality of water available for agriculture and to save water and nutrients.