2nd Advanced Training Course

Use of innovative technologies and tools for collective and on-demand pressurized irrigation systems

Sept. 26 – 30, 2022 | Zaragoza, Spain

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Sept. 26 – 30, 2022 | Zaragoza, Spain

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Program and info

2nd Advanced Training Course focused on the “Use of innovative technologies and tools for collective and on-demand pressurized irrigation systems

26 – 30 Sept. , Zaragoza, Spain

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Day 1

The Ebro Valley and its agriculture
In this lecture, students were presented with the key aspects of the central Ebro valley and its agriculture. A historical approach was used to introduce agricultural developments in the valley in the 20th and 21st centuries. Irrigated areas were discussed, including:

  • Traditional riparian areas irrigated for millennia, based on canals running parallel to riverbanks.

  • Irrigation developments in the first two thirds of the 20th century, based on reservoirs, canals and surface irrigation.

  • Irrigation projects in the last third of the 20th century, based on reservoir, collective pressurized networks and sprinkler / drip irrigation.

  • Irrigation modernization projects in the 21st century, transforming surface irrigation systems into sprinkler and drip.

Students were faced with the controversies of irrigation development in our days, food security, rural
development, rural population, water scarcity and irrigation pollution of water bodies.
Author Nery Zapata and Enrique Playán – CSIC

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Keyword: precision agriculture, water management, SMARTWATER

Morphology of collective and private pressurized irrigation systems
The goal of this lecture was to familiarize students with the key technologies used in collective and private pressurized irrigation systems in the Ebro valley of Spain. Water Users Associations (WUA) were introduced as the key organizational elements of farmers to gain access to irrigation water in semi-arid environments.
Students learnt to recognize the elements of the different project components:

  • Collective pressurized networks: belonging to a Water Users Association (WUA)

    o Reservoirs

    o Pumping stations

    o Pipelines

    o Hydrants

  • Private, on-farm systems: belonging to individual farmers

    o Programmer

    o Solenoids and microtubes

    o Valves

    o Pipelines

    o Sprinklers / drippers

    o Drainage

The role of the public administrations, the farmers organized in WUAs, the engineering firms and the
construction companies were discussed. Regarding the technical capacities of WUAs, agronomists and
engineers were introduced as key resources to introduce good water management practices.

Author Nery Zapata and Enrique PlayánCSIC

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Keyword: Ebro Valley, water, irrigation

Using Sentinel satellite images to manage sprinkler irrigated farms
The last lecture of the day focused on the use of Sentinel-2 images to support the management of sprinkler-irrigated farms.
The purpose of this lecture was not to teach how to perform a formal, remote sensing analysis of satellite images, but to learn to observe these images and to gather information on the following aspects:

  • Detection of irrigated sectors that remain open, overirrigating part of the farm

  • Detection of irrigated sectors that do not open, underirrigating part of the farm

  • Detection of clogged sprinklers, which need attention to restore their irrigation

  • Improving knowledge about the farm soils, contributing to delineate soil units

  • Supporting the design of a drainage system layout by following the areas affected by intense irrigation events.

The lecture served to approach remote sensing to the daily practice of irrigation management. This tool
can be very useful to improve water management at the farm level.

Author

Nery Zapata and Enrique Playán – CSIC

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Keyword: crops, water, FAO56

Day 2

Using experimental data to perform simulations with the DSSAT model. Example of an experiment performed in Zaragoza.

The lectures focused on using experimental data to perform simulations with the DSSAT model, focusing on an example of an experiment performed in Zaragoza. In a more applied section, the lecturer explained how to use your own experimental data to run simulations with DSSAT under different
scenarios. Course participants received a general introduction to the field experiments used for crop modelling and the data needed for DSSAT-Cropping System Model (CSM) setup, calibration, and validation. An overview of the experiments conducted by the CSIC-CITA research group used for DSSAT calibration, validation, and application was presented. The model was run using data of one of the experiments to present the structure of the model input and output files. The different steps of the model calibration and validation were also presented using the GENCALC tools included in the DSSAT for the automatic genetic coefficients’ calibration. Finally, a practicum was introduced using the DSSAT tool
to calibrate a maize cultivar.

Author: Farida Dechmi – CSIC

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Keyword: remote sensing, irrigation

Using your own experimental data to run simulations with DSSAT under different scenarios.

The lectures focused on using experimental data to perform simulations with the DSSAT model, focusing on an example of an experiment performed in Zaragoza. In a more applied section, the lecturer explained how to use your own experimental data to run simulations with DSSAT under different
scenarios. Course participants received a general introduction to the field experiments used for crop modelling and the data needed for DSSAT-Cropping System Model (CSM) setup, calibration, and validation. An overview of the experiments conducted by the CSIC-CITA research group used for DSSAT calibration, validation, and application was presented. The model was run using data of one of the experiments to present the structure of the model input and output files. The different steps of the model calibration and validation were also presented using the GENCALC tools included in the DSSAT for the automatic genetic coefficients’ calibration. Finally, a practicum was introduced using the DSSAT tool
to calibrate a maize cultivar.

Author: Farida Dechmi – CSIC

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Keyword: remote sensing, irrigation

Meteorological data availability at different geographical and temporal scales.

The first part of the class focused on the available weather data sources with potential application on precision farming and water management. The climate products of the European Centre for Medium- Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) were covered, focusing on the ERA5 Global Reanalysis. Technical characteristics of weather data were introduced, such as open access, data licensing, and data formats, including the network Common Data Form (NetCDF). An overview of the available data analysis tools and techniques was presented, covering an introduction to the R programming language. In the second part of the class, a practical exercise was performed. The goal of the exercise was to extract total precipitation (Tp) from the ERA5 data covering Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to estimate daily
reference evapotranspiration (ETo) during 2021 and then calculate effective precipitation (Tp-ETo). The specific objectives of the practicum were: getting Started with R and RStudio, read and process NetCDF files, visualize and map geospatial data, and analyze time series.

Author: Borja Latorre – CSIC

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Keyword: remote sensing, irrigation

Day 3

From Research Conception to Paper Acceptance

The lecture covers the nature of research manuscripts and papers, and gives course participants good reasons to write papers… not just personal recognition, but also exercising the scientific method and becoming better professionals in research and Academia. The lecture stressed the importance of the research questions, and their formulations in aims and objectives in the manuscript. Advice was given to course participants on the order in which it is better to write manuscript sections. Then tips were presented for the different sections. Emphasis was put on the manuscript title, the list of authors and the abstract, since these sections often receive less attention than the introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion and
conclusions. A comprehensive analysis of manuscript morphology helped course attendants become more confident on their writings. A section was devoted to the selection of the adequate journal for a
manuscript. Finally, the manuscript review process by a Journal was discussed. A practicum section was prepared in the course materials, which was left for course students to reflect upon. Exercises and examples focused
on the main topic of the course, the use of innovative technologies and tools for collective and ondemand pressurized irrigation systems.

Author: Nery Zapata and Enrique Playán CSIC

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Keyword: research, scientific paper, science 

From the research problem to the grant proposal

This lecture has some parallelisms with the previous one, in that research questions are at the beginning of the process. However, this section is about preparing a proposal to submit in a competitive call for
proposals with the intention of obtaining funds for research. The goal of the lecture was to make course attendants more competitive in the process of seeking funds and structuring the implementation of actions to answer research questions. The proposal aims and objectives were discussed, outlining the similitude with a manuscript and focusing on the process of developing SMART objectives. A section was devoted to funding opportunities, describing the different types of calls available for BiH researchers, National and International calls were outlined, with special attention to the European Framework Programme, Horizon Europe. The response to different types of calls was discussed, Including bottom-up and top-down calls. Issues like TRL, expected outcome and scope were discussed in the context of Horizon Europe calls. Real topics published by Horizon Europe and related to the main topic of the course, the use of
innovative technologies and tools for collective and on-demand pressurized irrigation systems, were discussed. A section focused on proposal evaluation, focusing on the management of scientific evaluation processes, evaluation criteria, peer review and the formation of evaluation committees. A specific
section was devoted to the evaluation of research careers, analyzing the historical process from eminence to evidence, and how evidence focused on impact factors, citations and the h index. DORA (the Declaration of San Francisco) was introduced, as a means to focus on the intrinsic values of research, instead of proxy indicators.Course attendants received information about open science and open data, and were familiarized with
the repositories used for green open science and data. In the last section of the course, indications were given to draft every proposal section, including project implementation and management..

Author: Nery Zapata and Enrique Playán CSIC

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Keyword: research, scientific paper, science